Jan. 6 hearing: Meadows aide testifies Trump team knew weapons were present at rally before Capitol attack

Appearing before the Jan. 6 House select committee, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified that as supporters arrived for the “Save America” rally the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, the then-president was made aware that many were in possession of weapons. According to Hutchinson, she overheard Trump directing security personnel to remove the magnetometers used to screen for weapons at the entrance of the Ellipse in order to allow more supporters into the audience.

Video Transcript

LIZ CHENEY: And you told us, Ms. Hutchinson about particular comments that you heard while you were in the tent area.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: When we were in the offstage announce area tent behind the stage, he was very concerned about the shot, meaning the photograph that we would get, because the rally space wasn't full. One of the reasons, which I've previously stated, was because he wanted it to be full and for people to not feel excluded because they had come far to watch him at the rally. And he felt the mags were at fault for not letting everybody in.

But another leading reason, and likely the primary reason, is because he wanted it full, and he was angry that we weren't letting people through the mags with weapons, what the Secret Service deems as weapons and are-- are weapons.

But when we were in the offstage announce tent, I was part of a conversation-- I was in the I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.

In this particular instance, it wasn't the capacity of our space. It was the mags and the people that didn't want to come through. And that's what Tony had been trying to relate to him that morning. It's not the issues that we encountered on the campaign. We have enough space, sir.

They don't want to come in right now. They-- they have weapons they don't want confiscated by the Secret Service. And they're fine on the Mall. They can see you on the Mall. And they want to march straight to the Capitol from the Mall.