Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
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Former President Donald Trump was aware he had armed supporters on January 6, a former aide testified.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump’s then-chief of staff, testified on Tuesday.
Hutchinson said Trump wanted to fill in crowd space, even if they were armed.
Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as a top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump knew that he had armed supporters on the National Mall on January 6, 2021, and that wanted them to attend his speech to fill out the remaining space.
Hutchinson told the committee that Trump was adamant about filling in a gap in the crowd assembled to watch his speech.
Trump, according to Hutchinson’s testimony, was unmoved after hearing the rally attendees were armed.
“The advance team had relayed to him that the mags were free flowing,” Hutchinson said, referring to metal detectors used by the Secret Service, adding that Trump was “concerned about the shot” of the area not being full with people.
“Another leading reason, and likely the primary reason was that he wanted it full and he was angry that we weren’t letting people through the mags with weapons,” Hutchinson said. “But when we were in the offstage tent, 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. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.”
She also testified that she was made aware of Trump supporters fashioning flag poles into spears, and alerted the chief of staff about those weapons along with “knives, guns — in the form of pistols and rifles — bear spray, body armor, spears, and flag poles.”
Hutchinson affirmed that the issue was not about the lack of space, but rally goers not wanting to check their weapons with the Secret Service.