Ex-aide paints devastating picture of Trump

Up until now, the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol was missing a key piece of the puzzle – the testimony of someone who could offer a first-hand account of the situation in the White House in the hours before and during the attack.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, filled in the blanks. And she has painted a devastating picture, including an allegation, which Trump denied, that he tried to grab the steering wheel of the car he was travelling in and wrestled with a Secret Service officer in an attempt to divert his motorcade to the Capitol, where his supporters were gathering.

Very early in the proceedings, the committee went to lengths to establish how the White House, and the president himself, knew that there was a very real threat of violence on January 6 – and did nothing to stop it.

Ms Hutchinson testified that Mr Meadows told her he thought, days before the attack, that things “might get real, real bad”.

She spoke of how White House officials were warned of the potential for violence. And, in perhaps the most damning testimony so far, she said Donald Trump personally knew that members of the crowd at his morning rally near the White House were armed because they were being turned away by Secret Service officers – and directed them to the Capitol anyway.

“I don’t (expletive) care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me,” Ms Hutchinson said she heard the president say. “Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.”

Some of Ms Hutchinson’s most damning testimony came second-hand, however. She recounted how a White House official told her that the president had insisted on travelling to the Capitol after his White House rally – something he said he would do during his speech.

When he learned the motorcade was going back to the White House, he attempted to grab the steering wheel and wrestled with a Secret Service officer. -BBC

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