STORY: "I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the President say something to the effect of 'I don't effing care that they have weapons..."
On January 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump knew his supporters were armed, but he directed them to the Capitol anyway.
That’s the explosive testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who on Tuesday provided the House select committee with a look at what was unfolding among the President and his top allies on the day of the Capitol riot.
Hutchinson said Trump expressed anger that the Secret Service was using metal-detecting magnetometers to keep armed people out of the fenced-off area where he gave his fiery speech.
"...because he wanted it full and he was angry that we weren't letting people through the mags with weapons..."
CHENEY: "The select committee has learned about reports from outside the magnetometers and has obtained police radio transmissions identifying individuals with firearms, including AR-15s near the Ellipse on the morning of January 6th."
Hutchinson, in a pre-recorded interview, said she was told there were knives, guns, spears and flagpoles among Trump supporters… But Trump said: “Something to the effect of, 'Take the effing mags away, they're not here to hurt me. Let them in, let my people in. They can march the Capitol after the rallies over. They can march from the Ellipse."
Following the rally, Hutchinson testified that Trump got into an altercation with Secret Service agents who were refusing to drive him to the Capitol in a limousine nicknamed "the Beast."
This is her account of a conversation with Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff:
"Tony described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of 'I'm the effing president -Take me up to the Capitol now', to which Bobby responded, 'Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.' The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engle grabbed his arm, said, 'Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We're going back to the West Wing. We're not going to the Capitol.' Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engle and when Mr. Ornato had recounted the story to me he had motioned towards his clavicles."
Trump on Tuesday quickly denied Hutchinson's account in a social media post, saying he never tried to grab the steering wheel.
Under oath on Tuesday, Hutchinson painted a picture of panicked White House officials bristling at the possibility of Trump joining what was to become a violent mob pushing its way into the Capitol, hunting for then-Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers who were certifying the 2020 election results.
"Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of 'please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy, keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen…”
At the hearing's conclusion, lawmaker Liz Cheney said the committee was aware that some witnesses testifying have been contacted by former colleagues and pressed to demonstrate "loyalty" to Trump.
“Here’s how one witness described phone calls from people interested in that witnesses testimony: ‘What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team (flash) you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World.’”
The 7th public hearing is scheduled for July.