WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump dismissed the presence of armed protesters headed to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and even endorsed their calls to “hang Mike Pence,” a key former White House aide told House investigators Tuesday, describing chaotic scenes inside and outside the executive mansion as Trump argued to accompany his supporters.

Trump was informed that some of the protesters in the crowd outside the White House had weapons, but he told officials to “let my people in” and march to the Capitol, testified Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a special assistant to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Hutchinson depicted a president flailing in anger and prone to violent outbursts as the window to overturn his election loss closed and as aides sought to rein in his impulses. Told by security officials that it wasn't safe to go to the Capitol after he addressed his supporters, he lunged toward the steering wheel of the presidential SUV.

Hutchinson said she was told of the altercation in the armored vehicle — dubbed “The Beast” — by Meadows' deputy shortly after it happened.

It wasn't clear what Trump would have done at the Capitol as a violent mob of his supporters was breaking in. But there were conversations about him “going into the House chamber at one point,” Hutchinson said.

As his supporters laid siege to Congress, both Trump and Meadows appeared unconcerned about cries in the crowd to “hang Mike Pence!” The president tweeted during the attack that Pence didn't have the “courage” to object to President Joe Biden's victory as he presided over the joint session of Congress that day.

Hutchinson quoted Meadows as saying that Trump “thinks Mike deserves it."

And as for the rioters, Meadows said, "He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”

Hutchinson's explosive testimony – featured in a surprise hearing announced just 24 hours earlier -- came as the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection holds a series of hearings to inform the public about what happened as Trump’s supporters beat police, broke in through windows and doors and interrupted the certification of Biden’s victory.

“As an American I was disgusted,” Hutchinson told the committee, reacting to Trump's tweet about Pence. “It was unpatriotic, it was un-American, and you were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.”

“I still struggle to work through the emotions of that,” she added.

Hutchinson quoted Trump as directing his staff, in profane terms, to take away the metal-detecting magnetometers that he thought would slow down supporters who’d gathered in Washington. In videotaped testimony played before the committee, she recalled the former president saying words to the effect of: ”“I don’t f-in' care that they have weapons."

“They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-in' mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here,” Hutchinson testified.

Before they left the Ellipse, where Trump had addressed them between the White House and the Washington Monument, she said, she received an angry call from House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who had just heard the president say he was coming to the Capitol. “Don’t come up here," McCarthy told her, before hanging up.

In the days before the attack, Hutchinson said that she was “scared, and nervous for what could happen” after conversations with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Meadows and others.

Meadows told Hutchinson that “things might get real, real bad," she said. But she described him as unconcerned as security officials told him about the people at Trump's rally who had been caught with weapons - including people wearing armor and carrying automatic firearms.

Giuliani told her it was going to be “a great day” and “we’re going to the Capitol.”

As a White House insider, she told stories of a raging president who was unable to acknowledge his defeat. At the beginning of December, Hutchinson said, she heard noise inside the White House around the time an Associated Press article was published in which then-Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had not found evidence of voter fraud that could have affected the election outcome.

She said she entered a room and noticed ketchup dripping down a wall and broken porcelain. The president, it turned out, had thrown his lunch at the wall in disgust over the article and she was urged to steer clear of him.

The 25-year-old, who was a special assistant and aide to former Trump chief of staff Meadows, had earlier provided a trove of information to congressional investigators and had sat for interviews behind closed doors. The committee called the surprise hearing this week after she agreed to give public testimony.

In excerpts of her closed-door testimony, Hutchinson told the committee in recent months that she was in the room for White House meetings where challenges to the election were debated and discussed, including with several Republican lawmakers.

She revealed that the White House counsel’s office cautioned against plans to enlist fake electors in swing states, including in meetings involving Meadows and Trump lawyer Giuliani. Attorneys for the president advised that the plan was not “legally sound,” Hutchinson said.

During her separate depositions, Hutchinson also testified about her boss' surprise trip to Georgia weeks after the election to oversee the audit of absentee ballot envelope signatures and ask questions about the process.

The panel has held five hearings so far, mostly laying out Trump's post-election campaigning to various government institutions in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.

The committee has used the hearings to detail the pressure from Trump and his allies on Pence, on the states that were certifying Biden's win, and on the Justice Department. The panel has used live interviews, video testimony of its private witness interviews and footage of the attack to detail what it has learned.

Lawmakers said last week that the two July hearings would focus on domestic extremists who breached the Capitol that day and on what Trump was doing as the violence unfolded.

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Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

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For full coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings, go to https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege.

(37) comments

phydeaux994

A source close to the Secret Service says that Ms. Hutchinson's testimony was accurate, that Trump was irate when they would not take him to the Capitol. Fortunately he did not have a plateful of food at the time. Take it back guys, you owe her an apology.

phydeaux994

For me, her testimony that Trump was very angry that people weren’t coming into the area of his speech. So they told him that people had weapons that they didn’t want confiscated when they came through the Magnetometers. So he said “they’re not going to hurt me, take down the Mags, I don’t care if they have weapons”.

phydeaux994

It’s ridiculous that the Suburban story has become the most important of her 20 hours of testimony to the Committee over the past months. It’s the least important. But it’s the most SENSATIONAL!! Damm MSM! But let’s get right to the bottom line. WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?? Her or Donald John Trump?

Greg F

Don't believe the orange idiot, that's for sure.

Angelak2day@gmail.com

An awful lot of hearsay....but I do have to question how Trump lunged for the steering wheel in the presidential limo...that's a pretty good distance to lunge from the back to the drivers seat.

Hayduke2

Perhaps he was in another vehicle belonging to the secret service...

phydeaux994

He wasn’t in the Presidential Limo..the BEAST..He was in a regular old Suburban, the same one he rode around Bethesda in waving to the crowd when he got out of Walter Reed Hospital. The two Secret Service guys will set it straight when they testify. One of them was the one that told her about it.

Greg F

Awful lot of SWORN TESTIMONY from first handers in there that corroborates everything we all think (except the dim ones) so far. Trump's a goon.

newspostreader

I have the utmost respect for her to bring forward the truth of the days leading up to the 6th and what took place on the 6th. I'm not at all surprised by Trump's actions. I notice his supports, who comment on EVERY Biden related article are awful quiet on this article.

threecents

From an NBC recording:

Asked if Trump was worried about Vice President Mike Pence’s safety during the Jan. 6 riot, Trump said, “I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape.”

Karl then reminded Trump that some of his supporters involved in the violent attack were calling for Pence to be killed.

“Well, the people were very angry,” Trump said.

“They said, ‘hang Mike Pence,’” Karl told Trump.

“It’s common sense, Jon. It’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect,” Trump said. “How can you, if you know a vote is fraudulent, right, how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?”

threecents

She has a remarkable memory, which made her a compelling witness. Some of what she said was second hand, so it will need some corroboration. Just because we know that Trump has no respect for truth, we don't know that this witness is telling the truth, but she did give an insider view of a lot of things that were not public information before yesterday. Stay tuned.

Dwasserba

She worked for Meadows, so maybe we can assume where her sympathies were originally. Wonder why she’d lie. Who needs this.

threecents

I said secondhand testimony would need corroboration; I did not suggest she was lying.

gunslinger1123

More fake news. The President does not ride in "The Beast"...that's a followup car with a rapid response team inside. The President rides in the rear seat of the vehicle where he would have no access to grabbing the steering wheel. The aide that testified has no direct knowledge of anything...only what she allegedly was told or overheard. Such hearsay evidence is not allowable in court...but we know this isn't anything but a political show trial and not to be taken seriously by anyone other than partisan hate mongers.

While if true this is certainly damning evidence...but this doesn't pass the smell test. A reasonable and objective person wouldn't find this believable and taking into account the character of such "luminaries" as Adam Schiff the committee has little offer in terms of objectivity and honesty.

Greg F

Whatever, gabslinger. It is hardly fake when it fits Agent Orange a whole lot better than OJ's glove ever did. It walks, quacks and swims like a duck, looks like an orange duck, and as for bills, it doesn't pay them....like a duck. So...for anyone to believe this is not a stretch at all that Donnie Mafioso is capable and culpable for all of this behavior. That you continue to feign ignorance to the contrary says a ton about you....who is the fake.

pdl603

Yeah, Fredo you are so hate filled that your handlers (commie, progressive democrats) are walking around with big smiles on there faces because they’ve got you fooled.

Hayduke2

gunslinger - one could also believe your post is straight out of the "discredit her" playbook.

phydeaux994

He wasn’t in the Beast, he was in a regular Suburban that Pence usually rides in. But even in the Beast there is a window that the President can open at will. When the two others in the car testify we will get their side of the story. But that story was just a tiny part of her testimony that the MSM has sensationalized which totally distracts from the whole. She is a good person who had her fill of the corruption going on around her.

Thewheelone

JSK: Not surprising that you did not listen carefully to Ms. Hutchinson's testimony yesterday, if at all. Not surprising that your head remains buried in the sand about what went on that day in January. Not surprising that you cherry pick one instance where the witness relays something she heard from someone else and not mention one of the many things she revealed she saw that day and the days prior to January 6th. NBC news reported that the secret service issue a swift denial of the incident in "The Beast." Those people are sworn by their honor, to secrecy about events that they see and hear about in their duties, so of course they deny it. Not surprising that you must think these ardent, former Trump supporters are lying about what they saw and heard happen that day. What is it going to take to convince you and millions of others that we nearly lost the sanctity of one one of our most cherished freedoms that day in January, 2021; tell me why the former president and his staffers who have refused to testify, asked for or receive pardons, refuse to turn over evidence are not behind the planning and near completion of this attempted coup?

bnick467

You're wasting your time, WheelOne. Cult members like JSK refuse to recognize any truth that makes their guru look bad. Over time, many leave the cult and wake up to reality, but you'll still always have those who are willing to kill themselves or others if their leader tells them to. Not at all different than those who followed Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, or Charles Manson.

Mjinma

AP at it again with less than the full news...the President's driver and another present agent said they'd testify that nothing like she recounted ever happened in the vehicle. Oh, and she was so upset by all this that it is reported that she even applied to work for the President afterwards. Now I didn't hear her say this but it has to be true...

Greg F

MJ...it was all there to watch...it's available in reruns in case you missed it. Seems you are the one that doesn't consider it full news if you didn't sit there hour after hour as she poured over just how big of an asshat that T-rump is.

threecents

A young insider wanted to witness history first hand? Why would that be hard to believe? Or are you just trying out alternative facts?

kfmd

Appears you’re getting your information from truth social?

jsklinelga

Not surprising hearsay testimony is being reported as gospel. Indicative of the kangaroo court type proceedings.

One has to wonder why the the actual agents were not called before this second hand account theatrics were permitted.

The lady hugging Liz Cheney says it all.

Greg F

McCarthy had a chance to include republicans. He pulled them instead so he thought he would have some play in that it would be slanted. Those who are sitting there are, for many, put in their jobs by Trump. I find it much more likely to believe them than anyone like either you or any of your political schleps that STILL think the election was stolen, STILL act corruptly in doing what they can to cover their tracks, and that lied to get SCOTUS appointees. Sorry...your party's reputation is in the sh*tter...as it deserves to be.

phydeaux994

This young lady worked for Steve Scalise, Ted Cruz, and at 25 was the Top Aide to Trumps Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. She must have impressed somebody she was a good Republican. Her Office was between the Oval Office and Mark Meadows and VP Pences Offices and next to the Dining Room where Trump had his meals in what is described as a small area of the West Wing. She saw and heard everything. Anyone that wanted to see Meadows went through her. She was by Meadows side everywhere he went with the President. Would you want your daughter to be part of a coverup of a man who was corrupt to the core to the point he would let a man who covered his butt at every turn be hung? She was disgusted with what was happening to carry on this Big Lie, and finally had enough, as any young Christian woman should do. Why would she make up this story about what happened in the SUV, not the Beast, which was a very small part of her testimony which of course the MSM has sensationalized. She said what parts of her testimony was third party, which wasn’t a lot. Most was first hand knowledge of what she witnessed. So call her a liar and think of what you would have wanted your daughter to do jsk. Donald John Trump is in the running for the worst American citizen in U.S. History, which I would think that an educated man like you would recognize in a “New York” minute. And don’t forget, she spent 20 hours testifying before the Committee so she got to know the members. And the Republibans allowed none of their members to be there to cross examine her and know what was coming so they had time to counter it. And if you haven’t watched you don’t know either.

pdl603

The worst citizen in U.S History is a tie between all the democrat leadership. The front runner is Hillary, but you can’t look beyond your hate to see that she is probably the biggest stain. She should be in orange in a cell because her and her team actively worked to undermine a sitting president. I believe that is treason/sedition, but since she is a democrat elite nothing will happen. Xiden is a grifter, liar and rapist. Again a democrat nothing will happen. The list goes on. Where is Garland? Sorry, I forgot he was being Xiden’s wing man.

phydeaux994

pitiful, you are PITIFUL. Your comments are blatant, provable lies. You’re Trump’s Dream supporter, a man with a totally empty head he can fill with a con man’s propaganda. You are Trump’s Mini-Me. “The plane boss, the plane”. Hopefully, Trump will be in a Prison close enough for you to visit.

pdl603

Dough, what lies? Hillary’s bought and paid for pee tape, russian collusion and alpha bank scams all proved false. Xiden raped Tara Reid. But, the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party, MSM, would not report it or dig into it. Similarly, Hunter’s laptop was NOT Russian disinformation, but rather true based on reporting and records obtained by non-MSM media outlets. I may be pathetic, but you are a known liar and a hypocrite of the grandest scale.

Hayduke2

pdl - do you post nonsense just to feel relevant. This is possibly one of the more irrelevant and that is saying something.

phydeaux994

pitiful, are you saying that you have first hand knowledge of the charges you name? I wouldn’t trust the sources you get your information from with just a tinfoil hat on.

phydeaux994

Name one lie I have told. And a little advice, Mr. Reid has yet to name one either. Go back to the sandbox now.

phydeaux994

pitiful, if you knew how to spell her name you could have gotten the same truth I got.

***Reade has misrepresented herself and her life experiences on numerous occasions, including lying under oath and in court proceedings. For example, she falsely claimed to hold a bachelor's degree from Antioch University.

Before accusing Biden of sexual assault in 2020, Reade made various other comments that cast her encounters with Biden differently. In April 2019, Reade said that she filed a complaint in 1993 against Biden with a Senate human resources office in which she alleged that Biden had made her feel uncomfortable through comments she deemed demeaning, allegedly including a compliment about her looks and a request for Reade to serve drinks at a Senate event. However, in her complaint, Reade did not accuse Biden of any kind of sexual misconduct and made no mention of the alleged assault. A few years before she accused Biden of sexual assault, Reade repeatedly praised Biden on her personal Twitter account, retweeting or otherwise endorsing comments which characterized Biden as a leader in combating sexual violence.***

Hayduke2

Why is hugging Liz Chaney, the daughter of a vice president and sitting representtive, former chairwomen and staunch Republican " prompting you to say it " says it all"?

threecents

I disagree with most of Liz Chaney's positions, but she is a truly remarkable person. She seems cool as a cucumber while trying to single-handedly bring her party back to common decency and sanity.

public-redux

Funnily enough, the texts in the bible known as the “gospels” were also hearsay.

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