Forming Trump White House helps Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection is expected to dominate this week’s Sunday show circuit.
Hutchinson, who served as a special assistant to form White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the House Jan. 6 Select Committee on Tuesday in a surprise hearing that the committee scheduled the day before. The panel had previously announced that it would not hold further public hearings until July.
Hutchinson shared several significant pieces of information about forming President Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 and his reactions to the mob that gathered at the Capitol.
She tested that Trump was aware that members of the crowd at his rally at the Ellipse had weapons preceding the riot but said he did not care because they were “not here to hurt me.”
She recounted a tense moment she said then-deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato described to her in which Trump allegedly insisted that he be taken to the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse and tried to grab the steering wheel of a presidential vehicle after being told he could not go.
She also said that former White House counsel Pat Cipollone was concerned about violence happening on Jan. 6 in advance and was angry during the attack that Trump and Meadows did not try to do anything to control the mob even as it called to hang former Vice President Mike Pence. The committee has subsequently issued Cipollone a subpoena to testify.
Multiple members of the HouseJan. 6 panel will appear on Sunday shows following the most recent hearing.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chairwoman of the committee, backed Hutchinson’s testimony in an interview that will air in full on ABC News’s “This Week” on Sundayafter attacks were made over the former aide’s credibility.
Trump denied lunging at his Secret Service detail in the car after they refused to take him to the Capitol. Speaking to the conservative news outlet Newsmax, Trump also said that White House staff were not aware members of the crowd at Trump’s rally were armed and repudiated Hutchinson’s testimony that he wanted to eliminate magnetometer screening because it affected crowd size.
Hutchinson’s lawyers have said she is standing by her testimony, in which she said Robert Engel, the special agent in charge for the Secret Service on Jan. 6, was present when Ornato told her of the incident in the presidential vehicle and did not counter any of the details of the account. Multiple news outlets have reported that Ornato and Engel are prepared to testify that Trump did not try to grab the steering wheel.
The Secret Service said in a statement on Tuesday that it will provide more information about the allegations.
“She’s an incredibly brave young woman,” Cheney said. “The committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources and by men who are claiming executive privilege.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), the other Republican member of the panel, similarly defended Hutchinson, saying on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that Hutchinson had “far more courage” than almost all the Republican members of Congress.
“I want to say again, Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero and a real patriot (not a faux “patriot” that hates America so much they would attempt a coup.),” he tweeted on Thursday.
Kinzinger will appear on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Democratic panel members Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) also defended Hutchinson and emphasized the importance of her testimony. Schiff will appear on CBS’s “Face the Nation” while Lofgren will appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Other Jan. 6 testimony has faced some pushback as well.
The committee revealed last month that in testimony former Trump aides said Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.) sought presidential pardons over their votes to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.) said on Thursday that he was not aware of any of his Republican colleagues requesting pardons related to the attack, according to Spectrum News’s NY1 in New York. Hutchinson tested that Meadows and Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani also sought pardons.
Zeldin will appear on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week’s Sunday talk shows:
ABC’s “This Week” — Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.); Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.); Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra
CBS’s “Face the Nation” — Mayorkas; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.); German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
CNN’s “State of the Union”—Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.); Govt. Kristi Noem (RS.D.)
“Fox News Sunday” — John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council; Govt. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.)
FOX News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” — Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah); Rep. Lee Zeldin (RN.Y.), New York Republican gubernatorial nominee; Peter Schweizer, author of “Red Handed”; Tiffany Smily, Washington Senate candidate (R)