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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Ex-White House Aide Provides First-Hand Account Of Trump's Actions On January 6; Secret Service Informs January 6 Committee That Agents Are Willing To Testify And Dispute SUV Incident; Ex-WH Aide: Meadows, Giuliani Sought Pardons Related To Jan.6; Ex-WH Aide Testifies "Extremely Angry" Trump Threw Lunch Plate At Wall After AG Said No Evidence Of Election Fraud During Interview. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 28, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: The election lie is still alive and eating away at America, which is proof the January 6 Committee's work is as much about America's future as it is about setting the history straight.

Thanks so much for joining us.

Don't forget "OUTFRONT" is anywhere and anytime on CNN Go and our special coverage of the January 6 hearings continues now with AC 360.



Anderson Cooper here in Washington along with Jake Tapper.

Tonight, a hearing of the January 6 Committee for which no adjective is possible because no superlative may be sufficient. After all, how do you characterize testimony now being disputed that the Commander- in-Chief who has sole authority to launch a nuclear strike allegedly, was literally as in physically grabbing a Secret Service agent.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: How do you describe testimony that the leader of the greatest democracy on Earth sent a mob he knew to be armed to the seat of that democracy, then agreed allegedly with members of the mob who were crying out that his Vice President, Mike Pence should be hanged?

COOPER: From the beginning to end today, what former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson testified she saw and heard as a close aide to then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has never been said publicly before, and some of it has probably never been considered imaginable before in a President of the United States.

Hutchinson testified in person and previously on tape that as crowds were gathering for his January 6th rally, he wanted metal detectors outside the Ellipse known as magnetometers or mags taken away that he wanted even though he knew that some who tried to get through already had been armed.


offstage tent, I was part of a conversation -- I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the President say something to the effect of, you know, I don't even care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Just to be clear, Ms. Hutchinson, is it your understanding that the President wanted to take the mags away and said that the armed individuals were not there to hurt him?

HUTCHINSON: That's a fair assessment.


COOPER: Prior to that, the Committee played audio from police and the Secret Service reporting people nearby who had been sighted with a variety of weapons including Glock pistols and an AR-15.

TAPPER: In addition, Anderson, Ms. Hutchinson testified that her then boss, then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had been told that some in the crowd were armed.

Now according to Cassidy Hutchinson, his reaction upon getting that news was to merely say, "Anything else?" Without even looking up from his phone through which he was scrolling, which is perhaps not surprising, given the picture she painted of someone whose response to the gathering storm was largely to check out.

What might be surprising, shocking, in fact, that is the scene that she recounted. What she said was the President's plan to go to the Capitol with the mob and testimony shows it was a plan, perhaps stymied by the Secret Service and others.


HUTCHINSON: When I returned to the White House, I walked upstairs towards the Chief of Staff's office, and I noticed Mr. Ornato lingering outside of the office. Once we had made eye contact, he quickly waved me to go into his office, which is just across the hall from mine.

When I went in, he shut the door, I noticed Bobby Engel who is the head of Mr. Trump's security detail, sitting in a chair, looking somewhat discombobulated and a little lost.

I looked at Tony and he had said, "Did you effing hear what happened in the Beast? I said, "No, Tony, I just got back. What happened?" Tony proceeded to tell me that when the President got in the Beast, he was under the impression from Mr. Meadows, that the off the record movement to the Capitol was still possible and likely to happen and that Bobby had more information.

So once the President had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going up to the Capitol. And when Bobby had relayed to him, "We're not. We don't have the assets to do it. It's not secure. We're going back to the West Wing." The President had a very strong, very angry response to that.

Tony described him as being irate. The President said something to the effect of, I'm the effing President. Take me up to the Capitol now. To which Bobby responded, "Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing."

The President reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, "Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We're going back to the West Wing. We're not going to the Capitol."


Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel. And Mr. Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motion towards his clavicles.


TAPPER: Now, just to be clear, that's Cassidy Hutchinson testifying about what she says she was told by a Secret Service agent.

Now just moments ago, we got this reporting from CNN's Josh Campbell and Ryan Nobles. They say that after the testimony, a Secret Service official familiar with the matter told CNN that Tony Ornato, the Secret Service agent in question denies telling Cassidy Hutchinson that story, denies saying that the former President grabbed the steering wheel or lunged for an agent on his detail. We will have more on this shortly.

Cassidy Hutchinson also recounted scenes of Donald Trump throwing plates and overturning table settings in fits of rage.

COOPER: And Jake regarding both the depth of that rage and Mark Meadows' detachment on January 6, here is Cassidy Hutchinson's taped testimony about efforts to get the former President to stop the violence that day.


CHENEY: Not long after the rioters broke into the Capitol, you described what happened with White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.

HUTCHINSON: No more than a minute, minute and a half later, I see Pat Cipollone barreling down the hallway towards our office and rush right in, looked at me. He said, "Is Mark in his office?" And I said "Yes."

He just looked at me and started shaking his head, and went over and opened Mark's office door, stood there with the door propped open and said something to the -- Mark is still sitting on his phone, I remember like glancing and he's still sitting on his phone.

And I remember Pat saying to him, something to the effect of, the rioters have gotten to the Capitol, Mark. We need to go down and see the President now. And Mark looked up at him and said, "He doesn't want to do anything,

Pat." And Pat said something to the effect of -- and very clearly had said this to Mark, something to the effect of, Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your effing hands.


COOPER: Now in subsequent testimony, she says her boss, Mark Meadows told her that the former President believed the rioters were not doing anything wrong, that the former Vice President deserved to be hanged.

TAPPER: The Committee also played testimony of former three-star General Mike Flynn, Donald Trump's first National Security Adviser being asked whether he believed in the peaceful transfer of power.

Mr. Flynn, interestingly, took the Fifth.

The hearing ended with Vice Chair Liz Cheney describing potential instances of alleged witness tampering, better known in certain parts of South Philly as "friendly advice."


CHENEY: Our Committee commonly asks witnesses connected to Mr. Trump's administration or campaign, whether they'd been contacted by any of their former colleagues, or anyone else who attempted to influence or impact their testimony.

Without identifying any of the individuals involved, let me show you a couple of samples of answers we received to this question.

First, here's how one witness described phone calls from people interested in that witness' testimony.

"Well, what they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I'm on the right team. I'm doing the right thing. I'm protecting who I need to protect. You know I'll continue to stay in good graces in Trump world."

"And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts, and just keep that in mind as I proceed through my interviews with the Committee."

Here's another sample in a different context. This is a call received by one of our witnesses. "A person let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know he is thinking about you. He knows you're loyal and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition."


COOPER: Joining us now for the next two hours, CNN chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin; CNN senior legal analyst, Laura Coates; CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger; and CNN political commentator, Alyssa Farah Griffin, who served as Director of Strategic Communications in the Trump White House.

Alyssa, I want to start with you. You know, the people -- you know, such in saying, you know the others involved in this story. As you heard, there's reporting now from Josh Campbell and Ryan Nobles, a Secret Service official familiar with the matter told CNN that Tony Ornato denies telling Cassidy Hutchinson, the former President grabbed the steering wheel or an agent on his detail. Nothing about the "I'm the effing President, take me to the Capitol."


ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. So, Cassidy Hutchinson is someone I have the highest respect for and is an extremely credible person and that is how she was seen throughout the White House. She was a workhorse and a serious person.

On this instance in particular, she clearly was relaying a story that was told to her by then Deputy Chief of Staff, Tony Ornato. I don't think his word frankly, respectfully matters on this matter, unless he comes under oath and testifies he didn't tell her this.

But I want to note, by the way, it's been reported before, Donald Trump has said in his own words that he was urging Secret Service to let him go to the Capitol. He said this in previous interviews.

So this incident, while it is interesting color and definitely matters. We know that he was pushing to go there. We know he wanted to join the violent mob that had weapons at the Capitol, and it was only Secret Service that held him back.

COOPER: But you said say that Tony Ornato, you would want to hear his word under oath.

GRIFFIN: Yes, I would think for it to carry weight, it has to be under oath. I've been in a position before where I said something to the Committee and he said that it was untrue. I know it to be true, but he was not under oath.

With all respect to Tony Ornato, it does not matter at this point, in Trump world, if it's not under oath.

COOPER: Just legally, let's talk to legal. What came out of today?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I think what we will all remember is this crazy scene inside the car, but legally, I think the most significant thing is the business with the magnetometers because, just to remember how to set the scene, Trump is at the Ellipse. He is about to give the speech. He is told that there are people who want to get in, but they can't get through the magnetometers because they have weapons. And he says, don't -- like let them in.

COOPER: Right. They said that there were thousands of people outside the magnetometers who didn't want to come through because they either like the position they were in or they had weapons, and those who are coming through closer to the stage, their weapons were being confiscated.

TOOBIN: And he also knew that everyone ultimately was going to wind up at the Capitol. So what he says was, don't let the -- you know, let everybody in or I'm sorry, that he says, let everybody in.

COOPER: He says get rid of the magnetometers.

TOOBIN: Get rid of -- I'm sorry, get rid of the magnetometers. And instead, he knows and wants all of these people to go to the Capitol, armed. And I think the fact that he is encouraging armed people to go to the Capitol really raises his level of culpability a great deal.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And all he cared about was that -- one of the things he cared about was the fact that he didn't think the picture was going to look really good, that there were some bald spots in the picture and he wanted that filled with people.

So he didn't care about the magnetometers. He didn't care --

COOPER: The other line, he didn't care because he also knew the weapons were not -- he said --

BORGER: Were not for him.

COOPER: According to Miss Hutchinson, that the weapons, they weren't -- he knew that they weren't going to harm him. Let's play that sound.

BORGER: Right.


HUTCHINSON: In this particular instance, it wasn't the capacity of our space, it was the mags and the people that didn't want to come through, and that's what Tony had been trying to relate to him that morning.

You know, it's not the issue that we encountered on the campaign, we have enough space or they don't want to come in right now. They have weapons they don't want confiscated by the Secret Service and they're fine on the Mall. They can see on the Mall in there. They want to march straight to the Capitol from the Mall.

CHENEY: The President apparently wanted all attendees inside the official rally space and repeatedly said, "They're not here to hurt me."

QUESTION: And just to be clear, so he was told again, in that conversation, or was he told again in that conversation that people couldn't come through the mags because they had weapons?


QUESTION: And that people -- and his response was to say, they can march to the Capitol from -- is it from the Ellipse? HUTCHINSON: Something to the effect of, take the effing mags away,

they're not here to hurt me. Let them in. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol after the rally is are over. They can march from -- they can march from the Ellipse. Take the effing mags away. Then they can march the Capitol.


COOPER: So legally, what stands out to you about that?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, imagine if this had been testimony we heard during the second impeachment trial, which was about the idea of figuring out there was a causal connection between what the President of the United States said and knew and the armed attack on the Capitol.

If people don't live in Washington, DC, they may not realize that we're talking about no security checkpoints between that White House Ellipse to the front door of the Capitol until you go inside. The President of the United States knew that people were armed to actually go that way and was not concerned about whether he would be hurt, which I think is naive first of all to think about.

But also, the idea, remember he want them to march towards those who are in the line of succession. Who is next? The Vice President is there. Gallows being built. The Senate and the House, the Joint Session of Congress, you've got the President Pro Tempore, of course of the Senate, as well.


They would have all been in danger. And who else was in danger? The Capitol Police who he knew were outgunned, outmanned, and marched them right to those people. It's astounding. The criminality about this is really, really high.

COOPER: Yes. An astounding day of testimony. A lot more ahead -- Jake.

TAPPER: So much, Anderson. So for more on the reaction from the former President and his people, let's go now to CNN Chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins.

Kaitlan, obviously, a day of devastating testimony from a former Trump loyalist. What has Donald Trump's reaction been to the bombshell testimony?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He started denying it in real time, Jake, as she was still up there testifying in front of the Committee. You already saw the former President responding.

He is disputing the most sensational part of her stories today, her testimony about him lunging at the Secret Service, what she had overheard from other agents and the head of his detail. He says that's not true. And Jake, he is also denying that he knew Cassidy Hutchinson that

well, saying that she wasn't a well-known aide to him, even though she was a top aide to one of his top staffers, of course, his Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, and she was often seen on Air Force One and a lot of her testimony today was firsthand.

She talked about what happened in the Beast, in the presidential limo after that January 6th rally, which she had been told by other staffers, but a lot of what she said, Jake, were things that she overheard from people like Pat Cipollone, the White House Counsel, or Mark Meadows, the Chief of Staff, how he responded, or even Trump himself that day when she said she was in the tent listening to what he was saying before he went out on stage on January 6th and addressed them.

And of course, we should note today, she was testifying under oath. You saw her stand and raise her right hand and Trump is of course responding on social media tonight, denying large aspects of her story and trying to distance himself from Cassidy Hutchinson.

TAPPER: Right. And of course, he's not under oath, and he is also rather fast and loose with the truth.

What about those in Trump's orbit who might have a more candid assessment and a more factual assessment, what did they say?

COLLINS: It's kind of been a mixture. You've seen some people who were close to her reaching out to downplay certain aspects of her testimony or whether or not she was present in a lot of the meetings that of course, have come under the scrutiny of the January 6 Committee.

But you've also seen others, people like the deputy of Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, at the time, commending her for coming forward and testifying given of course she is 26. She is someone who recently I was told had to get security in recent days amid concerns about her safety before she went to testify.

But really, Jake, when you talk to people about the core of this story, which is that it was a volatile President who had a temper and was singularly focused on his final days in office on one thing, which was trying to overturn the results of the election and pushing his claims of fraud.

That is something that a lot of people who worked inside the Trump White House and who spoke with Trump frequently in those days don't deny. That is something that they will readily agree with.

When you point out her story, for example, when she was told by the valet that Trump had thrown his lunch across the room because he was so upset with what then Attorney General Bill Barr had told the Associated Press, that there was no widespread fraud in the election. Those are stories that really resonate with people who were around Trump in his final days, because they will say yes, this is the case. He was in this kind of sense of thinking about focusing only on the election. And the same with Mark Meadows. Oftentimes, Jake, so many times in her

testimony, she talked about Mark Meadows kind of absent mindedly scrolling on his phone when he was being told critical information about what was happening. That is something that when you talk to people inside the White House those days, they'll agree with.

TAPPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins, thanks so much.

COOPER: Yes, Jake, we now have more reporting just in on the reaction to Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony about what she says she was told the former President did after his plans to go to the Capitol were rebuffed. CNN's Josh Campbell, joins us with that.

So Josh, what are you learning?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, there were several stunning revelations that we heard today in this testimony that was conducted under oath before the public, but what we are told is according to an official with the Secret Service, that after this testimony, Tony Ornato, who was then the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, he is now an Assistant Director with the Training Division of the Secret Service.

He told his bosses that look, this never happened. We know that Cassidy Hutchinson, one of the things that she had testified to, was that the President at the time had reached and tried to grab the wheel of the Suburban that he was in. He had also had lunged allegedly towards one of his Secret Service agents.

The witness today said that she was briefed by Tony Ornato that this happened. According to the Secret Service source, Ornato was saying that this did not happen.

Now, the way this went down is today, the Department of Homeland Security which oversees the Secret Service reached out to the January 6 Committee and said we will make available these agents, all three so you have the driver of the SUV, you have the lead agent, as well as Tony Ornato to make them available to testify under oath.


We are awaiting to hear back whether the Committee has accepted that testimony.

Our colleague Ryan Nobles is reporting from a person close to the Committee. They say that the Committee trusts the credibility of a witness who was willing to testify under oath, as Miss Hutchison did today. But they're also willing to hear information from others who may be able to assist in their investigation.

It's also important to point out that her lawyer, Miss Hutchinson's lawyer pointed out that these agents should be testifying under oath saying that their client testified under oath, recounted exactly what happened. Those with knowledge should also do so.

Now, it is also finally important to point out, Anderson, that this dispute is on those two points that Trump had reached for the steering wheel, that he had lunged towards a Secret Service agent. No one is reporting to us that there's any dispute that he still wanted to go to the Capitol, which is, of course, one of the key pieces of information there, that even after knowing that this crowd was armed, that they were potentially dangerous that the President still wanted to lead this group of people towards the Capitol where those votes were being counted. That, as of now, is not in dispute.

But obviously some questions surrounding what happened inside that Suburban, perhaps somewhat of a sideshow that the Secret Service says that they want to make these agents available to testify -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Sideshow or not, I mean, clearly, there was a conversation, or according to her testimony, there was a conversation between her and Tony Ornato with another men present in the room. So it's interesting that they are leaking out that no, it wasn't a lunge. It wasn't grabbing of a steering wheel or a lunge for an agent.

They're not saying anything about what the President said. They're not leaking out anything about what actually the President did do, how irate he was or what actually he said to Miss Hutchinson.

CAMPBELL: That's right, and we understand that these agents, some of them had already testified before the Committee and described the President wanting to go to the Capitol, so that part doesn't appear to be in dispute.

What they are specifically talking about were some of these more sensational claims that he was being irate so far, that he would go and become physical inside the Suburban.

But again, as we've been pointing out, she was there today testifying for all the world to see under her own name, under oath. These agents according to the Secret Service official want to talk to the Committee, whether that will be done in public, we will have to wait and see, but that's what we're hearing as of now that they are at least willing to testify about what happened or didn't happen in their view inside that Suburban.

COOPER: Right. Josh Campbell, appreciate it. Thanks.


TAPPER: With me now, CNN political analyst, investigative journalist and Watergate legend, Carl Bernstein; also CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel, CNN's Audie Cornish and Kasie Hunt.

So, Jamie, we know that Donald Trump lies a lot. I mean, that's not really even a dispute.


TAPPER: Yes, but do his denials and the denial of apparently Tony Ornato, although I have yet to see an on the record comment by him, you know, and I certainly haven't seen him testify under oath. Does that help his supporters defend him against what was honestly just a devastating day of testimony?

GANGEL: If past is prologue, his supporters seem willing to grasp on to anything if they were even watching today. But what I would say about Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony is people are either going to believe her. She came out in public under oath. She had a lot to lose, her career, her colleagues, or they're going to believe Donald Trump, who is saying the things about her that we always hear him say.

TAPPER: Right.

GANGEL: "I hardly knew her. I didn't like her. She was bad."

TAPPER: "She wanted a job at Mar-a-Lago and I turned her down."

GANGEL: Right, right. And the one thing I'd like to point out about Tony Ornato, who I've never met, but I've spoken to colleagues of his is at the time he had this job, he was actually not what you would consider an active US Secret Service agent.

Donald Trump really liked him and gave him a political appointment. He was Deputy White House Chief of Staff. So, it was slightly different situation. If he comes and testifies under oath, if Bobby Engel who was the detail leader --

TAPPER: He was the one in the limo.

GANGEL: He's the one in the limo.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: He is the one who actually had the interaction.

TAPPER: Right. Right. Yes.

GANGEL: Let's just remember what Cassidy said. She said, this is a story that Tony Ornato told her --

TAPPER: Right.

GANGEL: In front of Bobby, who never disputed it.

TAPPER: Right. She never said it happened.

GANGEL: She never said it happened. Exactly.

TAPPER: She never said she witnessed it.

GANGEL: Exactly.

TAPPER: And she just -- and said, and Tony Ornato, we will get into him at some point. But Carl, give me a little historical perspective here. Because at the end, the bottom fell out when it came to Richard Nixon.


TAPPER: People just realized, oh my God, I just -- I can't do it anymore. I can't defend this guy anymore.

BERNSTEIN: Well, particularly with the smoking gun tape. By that time, it was clear that he was a criminal, that all of this had occurred, that he ran the cover-up, and that he was responsible for letting these terrible events happen, in which he tried to undermine the electoral system in this country, and that nothing had happened like that before.


Now, we're in a new place with a different President, who has gone even farther, who is a seditious President, not just a criminal President. And what we heard today was, she nailed the case against the most criminal President leading a conspiracy that we've seen in our history, a criminal President against the Constitution of the United States, seditious conspiracy.

You have to go back to Jefferson Davis and the Civil War to look at something that has to do with such sedition. Jefferson Davis was not the President of the United States.

She nailed the elements of this conspiracy with Mark Meadows at the center of it, her boss. We're going to get to the Willard Hotel in the next series of hearings and who was in those meetings, and she talked today about, well, Mark wanted to go, then he decided he better call in on the phone.

The heart of this conspiracy has developed and we've started to see the pattern and the blocks fit into place is the Willard Hotel.

Let me just say one last thing, and I'm going on here for a second, because of the way things are fitting together, why is it that Donald Trump is so intent in getting to the Capitol and getting those people who knows her armed and all the rest. What is the Committee's theory about this, that may be a lot more than a theory?

They were going to stop the counting of the vote for the President of the United States, and try to prevent at 1:00 PM, the only time there is law in the United States that says, this is when and how you elect the President of the United States.

They wanted to stop it. Pence wouldn't do it. And now they were intent and what we see about Donald Trump today, he seemed to be pretty intent about stopping it, too.

There is an objective and you go from the Willard Hotel to what happened the next day.

TAPPER: Year and Cipollone, the White House Counsel, Audie, said, don't let Donald Trump go to the Capitol or we're going to be charged with every crime imaginable, and something else that was very interesting that we learned today.

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, can I stop you. I think that's actually a really important point, and it's easy to be sort of overwhelmed by the more cinematic moments of the day, the thrown plate, the lunging in the vehicle; now, that's being contested and we'll all get bogged down in what could be future screenwriting notes.

But the truth is, you had lawyers repeatedly saying, "Don't do this. Don't go here. That's criminal. That's illegal." And I think that the Committee each day has made sure to have that kind of testimony that says, no one can say they weren't warned. No one can say they didn't do the warning, and no one can say that the President didn't have a good idea of what he wanted to happen on that day. And did he incite or weaponize that crowd against a very key moment of the peaceful transfer of power?

And the second thing, I think, just broad picture, Watergate -- Watergate did something. It created a kind of expectation for all of us culturally. Journalists are going to reveal something. Congress does a job of oversight and then change.

HUNT: People respond.

CORNISH: Yes, then something happens. And there's a very key difference here, which is the party around this President is not turning in any direction. They're all speaking off the record. These are all little sources chatting in people's ears.

That is a huge difference, and so it's not actually just about Trump. It's about this moment.

TAPPER: And Kasie, I just -- let me just -- I want to get your reaction because on that topic of illegality of Cipollone and others saying "Don't do this, it's against the law." There's also the question of what did the people who were involved who were ignoring Cipollone, what did they know about whether or not what they were doing was illegal, and here's another couple of bombshells that we got today from Cassidy Hutchinson. Take a listen.


CHENEY: Miss Hutchinson, did Rudy Giuliani ever suggest that he was interested in receiving a presidential pardon related to January 6th?


CHENEY: Miss Hutchison, did White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ever indicate that he was interested in receiving a presidential pardon related to January 6th?

HUTCHINSON: Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon, yes, ma'am.


HUNT: Yes. I mean, they -- everybody knew. Everybody knew. Anyone more curious about Meadows' text messages, though. That's what he did turn over, right?

CORNISH: He did turn over the texts. Some of them.

HUNT: Some of them, not all of them. But look, I mean, I think it's pretty clear and from talking to some folks up on the Hill, as well as to some of my campaign sources, there definitely is more fear that some of the people that were discussed today, perhaps not the former President himself, but those around him are facing significantly greater criminal liability than they may have been facing at 8:00 AM this morning.

However, I think the point that Audie is making is exactly the right one. And I was listening to Carl talk about what happened with Richard Nixon. And the reality is what changed for Nixon was the Republicans on the Judiciary --


BERNSTEIN: Absolutely.

HUNT: -- Committee turned against Nixon. This Congress had how many opportunities to turn against Donald Trump, the most significant of which was the second impeachment trial, where if, you know, a handful more Republicans had decided that they were actually going to solve this problem, they might have sacrificed their own Senate seats to do it to primaries, they actually could have prevented Donald Trump from ever being eligible to hold office again. But the reality is, that's not where the politics are.

And I think again, we have the legal questions, but the political one is, and Jamie, I mean, you know, this as well as anyone they're speaking to the narrow audience of independents, and what swing voters are remaining in America to try to prevent this guy from ever getting elected.

TAPPER: Although one quick footnote on that one of the House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who voted to impeach Richard Nixon is Larry Hogan Sr., the father of the current Maryland governor, and then he went to run for statewide office in Maryland, and he lost in the primary in no small part because he had gone against Richard Nixon.


TAPPER: Not entirely romanticize how great everybody was.


BERNSTEIN: I remember one thing, remember one thing that the leaders of the Republican Party embodied in Barry Goldwater, Senator Barry Goldwater, the leader of that Republican Leader of the House, they marched to the Oval Office, sat across from Nixon, Nixon said, how many votes Barry do I have for acquittal, fully expecting that Goldwater would give him a fairly significant number? And Goldwater looked at Nixon and Goldwater told Woodward and me this story, we poured a couple of tumblers of whiskey (INAUDIBLE) for us. We were in his apartment, he tells us his, he pulls out his diary and tells us this story. And he says, I sat across from the President United States, he asked me about how many votes did he have in a Senate trial? And I said to him, Mr. President, you may have four to six votes, and you don't have mine.

TAPPER: Everyone stay with us.


BERNSTEIN: And that's when Nixon decided he had to resign and he announce --

TAPPER: He did the next --

BERNSTEIN: -- the next day.

TAPPER: -- the next day.

Coming up next, the former D.C. cop who was seriously hurt defending the capitol that they also a former Secret Service member on some of the testimony we heard today. And now the rebuttal to about the President's allegedly lunging at a Secret Service agent.

Later, someone who knows professionally what makes people tick and knows personally what makes Donald Trump tick, Mary Trump joins us.



COOPER: Much of today's testimony involved with the President, his chief of staff knew about the security situation before the Capitol riot. They knew there were weapons out, there they wanted the magnetometers gone, he wanted them to march onto the Capitol. What they did or did not do to safeguard the Capitol as a result. There was the testimony we played you stating that the President knew his followers were on that day, even as he suggested they marched in the Capitol.

And then there was what Cassidy Hutchinson said about the former President Chief of Staff and her boss Mark Meadows.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FMR AIDE TO WH CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: We are watching the TV and I could see that the rioters were getting closer and closer to the Capitol. Mark still hadn't popped out of his office or said anything about it. So that's when I went into his office, I saw that he was sitting on his couch on a cell phone same as the morning where he was just kind of scrolling and typing. I'd said, hey, are you watching the TV Chief? The studio small, like you can see it, but I didn't know if he was really paying attention. I said, are you watching TV Chief? He was like, yes, the rioters are getting really close. I'd be talking to the President. He said, no he wants to be alone right now.


COOPER: I'm joined here by two CNN law enforcement analysts Michael Fanone, former Washington D.C. police officer who suffered a heart attack and a concussion as a result of the attacks he endured on January 6. He's also attended every single public hearing by the committee and Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent.

Officer Fanone, I want to start with you. Hearing what was allegedly going on inside the White House. At the moment, you were being attacked, and your fellow officers were being attacked. I cannot imagine what that was like listening to this today.

MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, I remember thinking to myself, you know, it's always worse than you could have imagined with these people. You know, going into this hearing, hearing that it was a, you know, this emergency hearing, we've got this news. Obviously, like probably a lot of Americans, I had reservations about how bad it could really be. And it's always worse than I thought.

But again, you know, when it comes to the knowledge of specifically what was happening, I mean, I noticed how there was a time stamp on, you know, this conversation that took place, or was taking place between Ms. Hutchinson and Mr. Meadows, in which he said that the President didn't want to do anything about what was happening at the Capitol. And that was almost precisely the moment in which I was being dragged out of Lower West Hares Tunnel, and, you know, almost beaten to death.

So, it was clear to me that Donald Trump, Mr. Meadows, and most of the people that were in his inner circle, were completely indifferent to the violence that that they had caused at the Capitol.

COOPER: Or perhaps even wanted that violence.

FANONE: Oh, I think it's clear. You know, that there wasn't just the anticipation of violence, violence was part of the plan that day. I mean it's clear to me from you know the conversations with Rudy Giuliani that, you know, they wanted violence, violence very much played into the plan for January 6. You know, there were other things that were taking place, but the violence was an integral part of Trump's ultimate plan for that day.


COOPER: Yes. Tony, the way you know, we know what Ms. Hutchinson said she was told by Tony, you are not aware at the time was deputy chief of staff up of operations. Do you want to play that side (ph)? No.

What was interesting that now there's reporting Josh Campbell reporting that not only the Secret Service going to provide testimony, but that Mr. Ornato is going to be saying that he did not, in fact, say specifically those things to Cassie Hutchinson. What do you make of this back and forth?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LEGAL ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, listen, I don't want to over rotate on this. We're going to give the answer soon. Right. We're going to have Secret Service agents give their side of the story, right. We had testimony today, which was shocking. And, you know, the bravery to get up there and describe in detail everything that happened today. You know, she, she should really be commended for that. But you know, there are details here that people are focusing on that are in question. You know, the, this is an easy thing to resolve. The Secret Service agents, this Special Agent in Charge Tony Ornato, as well have stated that they will come and give their side of the story as to what happened on that day.

But I think we're getting lost a little bit in actually what happened. And on that day, there was violence, right. And there was intelligence around acts of violence and in projections of increased violence at the U.S. Capitol. That's why the Secret Service didn't bring the President there.

COOPER: How was -- who makes that decision? Because clearly, the President wanted to go to the Capitol, Mark Meadows, weaselly as he is, seemed to have left it up to the Secret Service agent in the vehicle to tell the President, no, they weren't going to go to the Capitol.

WACKROW: It wasn't just a Secret Service agent in that vehicle. That was the Special Agent in Charge. That individual is responsible --

COOPER: Robert Engel.

WACKROW: -- Robert Engel. That individual who I've worked with in New York and worked with in Washington, D.C. is one of the greatest standup agents I've ever met in my entire life. So whatever. Bobby says, that's what happened. Right? I trust his judgment. Everybody trusts his judgment. That's why he was in that position on that day.

The Special Agent-in-Charge is getting intelligence feeds. He's understanding that the environment at the U.S. Capitol, the one that you walked into my friend was destabilize.

COOPER: Right, we have Secret Service and police, recordings from -- that were played today. There was a guy with an AR-15 in a tree, there were guys with glocks (INAUDIBLE) --

WACKROW: (INAUDIBLE) all these information flows are coming into the special agent-in-charge in the command staff that's on the ground during that rally. They have to make that decision, everyone knows the President wanted to go up there. But the protective model, the protective methodology, and everything that the Secret Service stands for, we're never going to put the President in harm's way. I don't care how much he wants to yell and scream that he wants to go. We have a responsibility not just to the President.

But Anderson, we want to make this point. It's the office of the presidency. And I don't want to speak for special-in-charge Engel. But I think that's what he was thinking about in that moment is protecting the sanctity of the office, not necessarily individual as well.

COOPER: Officer Fanone, the President knew there were weapons, chief of staff knew there are weapons, a lot of folks -- seems like a lot of folks in the White House knew that there were weapons there. Did the officers a Capitol Police, D.C. police, did they know the crowd? I mean, as the crowd approached, were they prepared told there's guys with AR-15s, there's people with glocks, there's people with sharpened flagpoles? FANONE: The officers at least from the Metropolitan Police Department were aware of that fact, because they were ones making interdictions and arrests in that crowd, prior to them leaving and coming over to, to the Capitol building. I mean, the fact of the matter is, like we didn't have enough officers there to stop and search every single individual that participated in, you know, the marched to the Capitol, and eventually the assault on the Capitol. But there were arrests made, and firearms were recovered.

COOPER: It's extraordinary, I mean it's still even now, after all, this time just hearing the testimony say that the President of the United States would knowingly send and encourage a mob of people who that he knew were armed. I mean, maybe I don't know why I still am surprised by this, but I just find it stunning to hear it confirmed time and time again. He knew that they were armed.

FANONE: Absolutely. I mean, he, to me, there's no doubt in my mind that he betrayed this country. He betrayed every American. And maybe most of all, he betrayed those that went there to support him. He placed them in harm's way. He placed the police officers who fought bravely, selflessly to protect the capitol that day, and he placed every lawmaker staff member in the Capitol building in grave danger.


COOPER: Yes. Officer Michael Fanone, thank you, appreciate it. Jonathan Wackrow as well, thank you very much.


TAPPER: Cassidy Hutchinson also testified today as to why White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who has become a key fear figure in these hearings, was adamant that then President Trump not go to the Capitol on January 6.


HUTCHINSON: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol Cassidy, keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged as every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R) JAN.6 COMMITTEE VICE CHAIR: And do you remember which crimes Mr. Cipollone was concerned with?

HUTCHINSON: In the days leading up to the 6th, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral account.


TAPPER: Back with us, Carl Bernstein, Jaime Gangel, Audie Cornish, and Kasie Hunt.

Kasie, how much do you think Cassie Hutchinson's testimony specifically about Pat Cipollone's warnings about what they cannot should not do? Will actually have an impact on whether or not the Justice Department decides to take action here because obviously, the court the hearing here is laying out for a court potential crimes committed by Donald Trump and others,

HUNT: Right. No, you're absolutely right. I think in the first place, it increases pressure on Pat Cipollone, to show up and testify. And frankly, the fact that Cassie Hutchinson was willing to do this highlights a pretty stark difference between her and a White House Counsel, former White House Counsel who's currently refusing to appear.

Now, whether, you know, honestly, I'm not a lawyer. So I don't know the extent to which the acknowledgement of knowing that there could be crimes committed will impact a criminal proceeding. But I certainly think it speaks to the issue in the same way that the asking for pardons does, right. I mean, it shows that the people involved knew and were told, right, I mean, this now, we know the President was repeatedly told this, that that he would potentially be committing a crime and that he wanted to do it anyway. And, you know, my sense is it certainly has to be significant.

TAPPER: And Audie, I did, I don't know what you think was the most important part of the testimony today, there was a lot as you know, the limousine story and the ketchup on the wall story.


TAPPER: Are, are --

CORNISH: There's important and then there's exciting.


CORNISH: I mean a moment for me with Michael Flynn not be pleading the 50 questions like, do you believe or agree with the idea of peaceful transfer of power, which it's like, here's the bar for democracy in America and like, here's, you know, and not the --

TAPPER: By the way, that's a guy who has sworn oath of allegiance to the United States of America in any number of times.

CORNISH: Yes, and I'm, you know, I'm saying that facetiously, but, you know, this is what this is about, fundamentally, everything you hear at home about this hearing, ask yourself, how would this disrupt or destroy or delay the formal peaceful transfer of power? And at every point, it's like a choose your own adventure. A lawyer comes to you and says, we probably shouldn't do this. It seems illegal and someone goes, OK, I'm going to go talk to someone else. And then they keep making --


CORNISH: Yes. So while it may be, there's a lot of names here, it may be confusing. I think at home, you need to think to yourself, how would this have disrupted or does delayed the peaceful of transfer of power? And then ask yourself, is there a candidate on the ballot near me tonight or any other night, who believes or agrees with the actions that were happening on that day?

TAPPER: All right, we're going to get to the other side of the panel in just a second, everyone stick around.

Coming up perspective, from Donald Trump's niece, who has characterized her uncle as the world's most dangerous man. We'll see if Mary Trump was surprised by anything we heard today. What did she make of that alleged scene in the SUV, also plates flying around in the White House and much more. That's next.



COOPER: We've heard the former President unleashes rap verbally before turn to someone on social media, but today first from a witness with a first hand account.


HUTCHINSON: Valet was inside the dining room changing the tablecloth off of the dining room table. He motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantel on the TV where I first noticed there's ketchup dripping down the wall. And there's a shattered porcelain plate on the floor. The valet had articulated that the President was extremely angry at the Attorney General's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall.

There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere.


COOPER: With that, and Ms. Hutchinson testifying, she was told the former President allegedly lunged at his Secret Service agent on January 6. Let's go to clinical psychologist also happens to be the ex-President's niece, Mary Trump, the author of Reckoning Or National -- Our Nation's Trauma And Finding A Way To Heal.

Mary, I'm wondering the portrait that came out of your uncle today. How do you square -- is it a portrait you recognize?

MARY TRUMP, NIECE OF DONALD TRUMP: Yes, it's entirely consistent Anderson with everything I've known about him forever. There's no surprise here. I'm not suggesting it's not horrifying, we should still have the ability to be shocked by this. What is surprising, however, is how many people in the White House knew that this is the kind of person he is and still remain absolutely unwilling to testify in front of this committee about his egregious dangerous and insurrectionist behavior.

COOPER: It is stunning and it should, I mean, as you said, it may be it's not surprising, but it should be stunning to hear that knowing that there were weapons in the crowd. He also was confident that people were not there to hurt him and wanted magnetometers removed not only so the crowd could get closer and there'll be a bigger picture, but just knowing that they weren't there to hurt him


TRUMP: Again, also entirely consistent with who he is. And I think it underscores what a mistake it's been on the part of some people not to take him seriously, because he can be a laughable character, right. But make no mistake, I said this, I believe before the 2020 election, there is no bottom, there are no length Donald won't go to should get his way. And we saw that play out pretty almost impeccably, the only thing that didn't go his way was the drive to the Capitol building.

COOPER: Also, for somebody who claims to be all about America first who claims to love America, there is really no one in presidential history, who has done as much to attack this the symbols of America, destroy the institutions of America. I mean, fomenting, encouraging a mob inviting them to the Capitol, knowing their arms, encouraging them to go, to march on the Capitol saying that he was going to march with them and actually wanting to not march because it is a long walk, but to at least drive there.

I mean, that's, that would I mean, had he actually appeared with the mob, getting out of his limo, the head of the mob of Proud Boys? I mean, who knows what would have gone on?

TRUMP: It's unimaginable actually, I've been thinking about that all day. What would he have done? What was he expected? So thankfully, that did not happen. But again, I he's still fomenting rage. He's still stirring people up, he's still claiming that the election was stolen. So this isn't over by any stretch of the imagination. But thanks to people like Cassidy Hutchinson, the truth is getting out. I just as I'm sure we all do wish more people who were in the room would come forward, because somebody like Donald has always been enabled. His lies have always been tolerated because for whatever reason, he's been useful to smarter, more powerful men.

And that's the thing America First it's a lie. He doesn't care about anything, or anybody but himself, his power and his wealth.

COOPER: Mary Trump, appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Much more to come with three people who know a thing or two about Presidential temper tantrums and unhinged behavior. Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and John Dean famously helped expose Richard Nixon's dark side, they join us next.