Friday August 12, 2022

President Donald Trump was aware that some of his supporters were armed with guns and knives before he ordered them to march on the Capitol on January 6, a former aide to the president told the House committee investigating the attack.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to Mr Trump and principal aide to his chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the January 6 committee that she overheard the then-president demanding that metal detectors around the area where he was speaking be removed, before urging his supporters to the Capitol building.

“I don’t f***ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f***ing mags away.  Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.  Let the people in.  Take the f***ing mags away” the president said, referring to the metal detectors around the Elipse, according to Ms Hutchinson.

The stunning testimony provided new insight into Mr Trump’s mental state on January 6, painting a picture of a president determined to do anything he could to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.

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In an appearance before the committee on Tuesday, Ms Hutchinson revealed behind-the-scenes planning in the White House for January 6 in the days leading up to the event. She said that she was “scared, and nervous for what could happen” ahead of the riot after conversations with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Mr Meadows and others.

Mr Meadows told Ms Hutchinson that “things might get real, real bad,” she said. Giuliani told her it was going to be “a great day” and “we’re going to the Capitol.” She described Meadows as unconcerned as security officials told him that people at Trump’s rally had weapons – including people wearing armor and carrying automatic weapons.

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— With the Associated Press

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