Donald Trump was not happy with what he was seeing Tuesday. He was watching the televised testimony of a former aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, as she reveal what happened behind closed doors in the White House before and during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.
The former president couldn’t go on Twitter like most of the rest of the political chattering class to air his grievances because he is banned. Instead, he had to go to his self-created social media platform, Truth Social, where he issued a long string of denials of specific aspects of Hutchinson’s testimony as well as general attacks on her credibility.
“I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and “leaker”),” he posted about 30 minutes into Cassidy’s appearance before the House select committee investigating the insurrection.
Trump has often in the past claimed he did not know people who made accusations against him, implying his lack of familiarity with his accusers somehow devalued the veracity of their allegations.
He also called Hutchinson “A Total Phony!!!” without further elaboration.
Hutchinson was a top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and her testimony made under oath to the House committee provided a detailed account of the interplay between top staffers and the president on the day Trump supporters, believing his lie that the 2020 election had been “stolen,” attacked the Capitol while Congress met in a joint session.
Hutchinson said Trump was aware that some supporters at a pre-attack rally on the Ellipse carried weapons, and he wanted metal detectors at his rally taken down so they could join the crowd before marching off to the Capitol. She also recalled that Meadows said Trump believed the attackers weren’t doing “anything wrong” in calling for Vice President Mike Pence’s hanging and that Trump threw dishes against a wall when he heard Attorney General William Barr had denied that there was widespread fraud in the presidential election Trump lost.
“Bad handwriting, that of a Whacko?”
– Donald Trump on Truth Social
Trump said in his posts Tuesday that he did not ask for the metal detectors to be removed, saying, “I didn’t want or request that we make room for people with guns to watch my speech. Who would ever want that? Not me!”
“I NEVER SAID, “MIKE PENCE DESERVES IT (to be hung). Another made up statement by a third rate social climber!” he posted, even though one interviewer, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, said in 2021 that Trump had defended the chanters by saying, “Well, the people were very angry.”
“Her story of me throwing food is also false… and why would SHE have to clean it up, I hardly knew who she was?” Trump posted about Hutchinson’s account of entering the Oval Office dining area and seeing ketchup on the wall and a broken dish on the floor after Trump had seen an Associated Press report of Barr denying widespread election fraud.
In addition to his general denials, other Trump criticisms of Hutchinson’s appearance were notably specific:
- “She changed lawyers a couple of days ago, and with it, her story totally changed! SHOCKER???”
- “Her body language is that of a total bull…. artist. Fantasy Land!”
- “Bad handwriting, that of a Whacko?”
Tuesday’s surprise hearing was announced just one day ago because the House select committee thought Hutchinson’s testimony needed to be made public as soon as possible. Previously, committee members had said they expected no more hearings until July.