According to Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the president wanted as many people as possible to hear his speech on Jan. 6, 2021 ― and didn’t care how many brought bear spray, spears, guns and flagpoles to use as weapons. Many such items were used a short time later when his supporters rioted at the Capitol.
“I heard the president say something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags [metal detectors] away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here,’” Hutchinson testified Tuesday before the House’s Jan. 6 committee.
The reason for Trump wanting the crowds? “He was furious because he wanted the arena we had at the Ellipse to be maxed-out to capacity,” Hutchinson said.
Of course, an obsession with crowd size is something that had been a part of Trump’s presidency since his very first day in office in 2017. The day after his inauguration, he personally called the head of the National Park Service to ask for photographic evidence that would support his claims about the size of the crowd.
Trump falsely claimed up to 1.5 million people attended the event, even though experts said the data suggested the crowd was only about one-third the size of the group that gathered for Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
Twitter users couldn’t help but make “Crowd size” a trending term.