Explosive January 6 Testimony: Trump Wanted Armed Supporters to March to the Capitol

“They’re not here to hurt me.”

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is sworn in to testify.Mother Jones; Andrew Harnik/CNP/ZUMA

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A Trump White House aide testified to the January 6 committee today that the former president was aware that some of his supporters in Washington, DC, that day were armed with weapons ranging from spears to AR-15s, and that he directed them to the Capitol anyway. 

According to Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the Secret Service reportedly warned both the president and Meadows that some people attempting to enter Trump’s Stop the Steal rally on the Ellipse were armed with guns. According to Hutchinson, when informed about the situation, Meadows didn’t look up from his phone. 

Trump, on the other hand, went so far as to instruct the Secret Service to take away “the mags”—or magnetometers—and to allow the armed attendees into the rally. According to Hutchinson, Trump was worried about crowd size and wanted to admit as many people in as possible. 

According to Hutchinson, Trump said something to the effect of, “I don’t fucking care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.”

Then, during the rally, Trump directed protesters—some of whom he allegedly knew were armed—to march on the Capitol. 

We’ve known for awhile that some of the pro-Trump extremists in DC that day were armed. In an exclusive investigation last year, Mother Jones drew on “public video footage, congressional testimony, and documents from more than a dozen federal criminal cases” to reveal that “various Trump supporters descended on DC that day armed for battle with guns and other potentially lethal weapons.” But Hutchinson’s testimony was the first indication that Trump knew that the attendees were armed before he sent them to the Capitol. 

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