Witness Cassidy Hutchinson told the Jan. 6 panel Tuesday that former President Trump and chief of staff Mark Meadows—her boss—were informed that protesters gathering in DC on Jan. 6, 2021, were armed. However, both appeared to be unconcerned about it, she said. In fact, she said Trump was angry that his supporters had to go through metal detectors, called magnetometers, and turn over weapons as they gathered for his speech that day before the riot. "They're not here to hurt me," she remembered Trump saying. Hutchinson said Trump demanded that his supporters be allowed to move freely, even though they were armed, reports the New York Times.
She said she was "in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, 'You know, I don’t f---ing care that they have weapons. 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. Let the people in. Take the f---ing mags away.'" Hutchinson also recalled how deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato told Meadows "these f----ing people are fastening spears onto the ends of flagpoles," per CNN. Hutchinson said Meadows didn't seem phased as he heard the description of various weapons. "I distinctly remember him not looking up from his phone," said Hutchinson. (She also said Meadows warned her in advance that Jan. 6 might get "real, real bad.")