Trump Demanded Armed Supporters Be Let Into Rally Before Calling for Capitol March

Former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday that on Jan. 6, President Trump insisted that security measures be taken down at his Ellipse rally in order to boost the size of the crowd, arguing that people carrying weapons were “not here to hurt me.” 

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

Hutchinson in her surprise testimony was detailing Trump’s frustration at the effect metal detectors and security were having on the amount of people allowed into his rally held on the Ellipse shortly before the storming of the Capitol building on Jan. 6th. Security measures at the rally prevented people carrying firearms and other weapons from entering the rally space.

“President Trump was aware that a number of the individuals in the crowd had weapons and were wearing body armor,” committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney summarized before playing a clip of Trump telling the crowd that, “We’re going to walk down — and I’ll be there with you — to the Capitol.”

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The committee revealed text messages between Hutchinson and Secret Service Agent Anthony Ornato in which Ornato tried to impress on Hutchinson that supporters of the president did not want to pass through security, for fear of having their weapons seized. 

Hutchinson also recounted how on Jan. 2, after an encounter with Rudy Giuliani where Giuliani expressed excitement over plans for January 6. Hutchinson informed Meadows of her conversation with Giuliani, to which Meadows replied that “Things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.

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