The president was told that people couldn’t cone through the mags because they had weapons. And his response was “Take the f—ing mags away. They’re not here to hurt me. Let them in. Let my people in.”
Cheney asked Hutchinson to confirm if that’s what she heard the president say, and Hutchinson said yes, it was.
And Trump — knowing that the people had weapons — still invited them to march on the Capitol. “We’re gonna walk down — and I’ll be there with you,” he said. “We’re’ gonna walk down to the Capitol.”
It soon became evident to those at the Capitol that the security at the Capitol would not be sufficient to hold back the mob. “They were short [of] people to defend the building against the rioters,” she said. Mr. Ornato wanted Hutchinson to convey that information to Mr. Meadows. So she went to do just that.
“After I had the conversation with Mr. Ornato, I went to have the discussion with Mr. Meadows. He was in the security vehicle at the time making a call. So when I had gone over to the car, I went to open the door to let him know that he had immediately shut it. I don’t know who he was speaking to. It wasn’t something that you regularly did especially when I would go over to get him information so I was a bit taken aback, but I didn’t think much of it, thinking that I would be able to have a conversation with him a few moments later.”
“And were you able to have the conversation a few moments later?”
“Probably about 20 to 25 minutes later,” Hutchinson responded. “There was another period between where he shut the door again and then when he finally got out of the vehicle we had the conversation. But at that point there was a backlog of information that he should have been aware of.”
The Q&A between Hutchinson and Cheney is captured below:
Liz Cheney: You opened the door to the control car and Mr. Meadows pulled it shut?
Cassidy Hutchinson: Yes.
LC: And he did that two times?
CH: That’s correct.
LC: And when you finally were able to give Mr. Meadows the information about the violence at the Capitol what was his reaction?
CH: He almost had a lack of reaction I remember him saying all right something to the effect of how much longer does the president have left in his speech?
Cheney: Another question at this point, Ms. Hutchinson, were you aware of concerns that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone or Eric Herschman had about the language President Trump used in his Ellipse speech?
Hutchinson: There were many discussions the morning of the 6th about the rhetoric of the speech that day. In my conversations with Mr. Hirshman he had relayed that we would be foolish to include language that had been included at the president’s request, which had lines along to the effect of ‘fight for Trump; we’re going to march to the Capitol. I’ll be there with you. Fight for me; fight for what we’re doing; fight for the movement.” Things about the vice president at the time. To have Mr Herscman and White House counsel so obviously were urging the president not to include that language for legal concerns and also for the optics of what it could portray the president wanted to do that day.
Trump actually had wanted to attend the march. But White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned against it. “Mr. Cipollone and I had a brief private conversation where he said to me, ‘You need to make sure that this doesn’t happen this would be, legally, a terrible idea.’ He had serious legal concerns if he goes into the Capitol that day, and he then urged me to continue because it’s my understanding that Mr. Cipollone thought that Mr. Meadows was indeed pushing this, along with the president.”
“Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, ‘Please don’t 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.'”
“And do you remember which crimes Mr. Cipollone was concerned with in the days leading up to the 6th?” asked Cheney.
“In the days leading up to the 6th we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count,” Hutchinson replied.
“Let’s hear about some of those concerns that you mentioned earlier in your interview with us,” Cheney then said, introducing a clip from one of Hutchinson’s interviews.
After the clip played, Cheney asked, “Tell us about the call that day with leader McCarthy.”
“During the president’s speech, I was still in the tent behind the stage and when you’re behind the stage, you can’t really hear what’s going on in front of you. Mr. McCarthy called me with this information. I answered the call and he seemed rushed but also frustrated and angry at me. I was confused because I didn’t know what the president had just said. You can explain? The president just said he’s marching to the Capitol. You told me this whole week you weren’t coming up here. Why would you lie to me?’
I said, ‘I’m not lying. I wasn’t lying to you, sir. We’re not going to the Capitol. He said, ‘Well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don’t come up here.’ I said, ‘I’ll run the traps. Give me a text. I can assure you we’re not coming up to the Capitol. He pressed a little bit more — believing me, but, I think, frustrated — that the president had said that and we ended the phone conversation after that.”