August 8, 2022

Hutchinson told committee she heard Trump say he didn’t care that his supporters had weapons

A photo of former President Donald Trump from back stage at the January 6th rally is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson testifies on Tuesday.
A photo of former President Donald Trump from back stage at the January 6th rally is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson testifies on Tuesday. (Shawn Thew/Pool via Reuters)

The President’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and Donald Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump supporters had weapons when they gathered on the Ellipse that day, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson has testified.  

Hutchinson also testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said he talked to Trump about weapons at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021. 

The House select committee investigation learned from law enforcement reports that people at the Trump rally on the Ellipse had pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, Tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, vice chair Liz Cheney said on Tuesday.

Hutchinson corroborated that this was known inside the White House the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, as well. She said she witnessed a discussion about the weapons between Ornato and Meadows, her boss. 

Ornato informed Meadows about the weaponry, and mentioned to Hutchinson “these f’ing people are fastening spears onto the ends of flagpoles,” she said in previous testimony that the committee presented as a video clip on Tuesday. 

But Hutchinson said that Meadows, on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, didn’t look up from his phone, seeming to barely register what was said. 

Meadows asked Ornato, “Have you talked to the President?” she recalled. Ornato said he had made Trump aware, she added. 

The Justice Department has proven in court some of those who breached the Capitol carried firearms and fought the police line with other weapons. 

The House committee also played radio traffic on Tuesday from police identifying firearms being carried in downtown Washington, DC, near the Ellipse. 

Source link