Trump wanted to lead armed protesters to the Capitol, January 6 hearing told

Washington DC - Ex-President Donald Trump knew that rioters were heavily armed just hours before the Capitol attack. But that just made him encourage security to let them pass through anyway, according to testimony at the latest January 6 hearing.

Donald Trump (r.) pictured with his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.
Donald Trump (r.) pictured with his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, during Tuesday's January 6 hearing.  © REUTERS

"I don’t f***ing care that they have weapons," Trump said at the time, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. "They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f***ing mags [magnetometers] away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."

Hutchinson told the House Select Committee investigating the violence on January 6 that Trump insisted all attendees – even the armed ones – be allowed inside his rally that morning, repeatedly saying that "they’re not here to hurt me."

Trump’s remarks came just minutes before he took the stage at his rally, Hutchinson said.

She also claimed the former commander-in-chief blew a fuse when the Secret Service refused to drive him to the Capitol that day, even trying to grab the steering wheel and lunging at an agent.

Meadows nonplussed by warnings

In the days leading up to January 6, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was informed of attendees’ plans to carry arms at Trump’s rally before heading to the Capitol, Hutchinson said. He was told that there would be knives, guns, pistols, rifles, and spears present.

Meadows did not look up from his phone after he was told the news, Hutchinson said.

"All right, anything else?" Hutchinson recalled Meadows saying while he still looked down at his phone.

Hutchinson was the only witness during Tuesday’s hearing, which was scheduled with less than 24 hours' notice.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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