Jan. 6 testimony: ‘Many people’ advised Trump to call for an end to Capitol attack

During Thursday’s primetime hearing of the Jan. 6 House select committee, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., revealed recorded testimony from former White House lawyer Pat Cipollone affirming that he made numerous attempts to convince President Trump to make a public statement to call off rioters while the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol was taking place. “Many people suggested it, not just me,” Cipollone said, adding that Ivanka Trump, Mark Meadows and Eric Herschmann, a former senior White House aide, were among those pleading with Trump to end the violence. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, corroborated Cipollone’s testimony, saying, “I’m confident that Ivanka Trump wanted there to be a strong statement to condemn the rioters.”

Video transcript

PAT CIPOLLONE: I think I was pretty clear there need to be an immediate and forceful response statement, public statement, that people need to leave the Capitol now.

- My question is exactly that. It sounds like you from the very onset of violence at the Capitol, right around 2:00, were pushing for a strong statement that people should leave the Capitol. Is that right?

PAT CIPOLLONE: I was and others were as well.

- Pat, you said that you expressed your opinion forcefully. Could you tell us exactly how you did that?

PAT CIPOLLONE: Yeah, I can't-- I'm going to have-- I have to-- on the privilege issue, I can't talk about conversations with the President. But I can generically say that I said people need to be told. There needs to be a public announcement fast that they need to leave the Capitol.

- And Pat, could you let us know approximately when you said that?

PAT CIPOLLONE: Approximately when? Almost immediately after I found out people were getting into the Capitol or approaching the Capitol in a way that was violent.

- Do you remember any discussion with Mark Meadows with respect to his view that the President didn't want to do anything or was somehow resistant to wanting to say something along the lines that you suggested?

PAT CIPOLLONE: Just to be clear, many people suggested it, not just me. Many people felt the same way. I'm sure I had conversations with Mark about this during the course of the day and expressed my opinion very forcefully that this needs to be done.

- So your advice was tell people to leave the Capitol? And it took over two hours. When there were subsequent statements made, tweets put forth that in your view were insufficient, did you continue, Mr Cipollone, throughout the period of time up until 4:17, continue, you and others, to push for a stronger statement?


- Were you joined in that effort by Ivanka Trump?


- By Eric Herschmann?


- By Mark Meadows?


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: White House counsel's office wanted there to be a strong statement out to condemn the rioters. I'm confident in that. I'm confident that Ivanka Trump wanted there to be a strong statement to condemn the rioters.

I don't know the private conversation she had with Mr Trump. But I remember when she came to the office one time with White House counsel's office, when she came to the chief of staff's office with White House counsel's office, she was talking about the speech later that day and trying to get her dad on board with saying something that was more direct than he had wanted to at the time and throughout the afternoon.

- And I think Mark also got-- I remember him getting Ivanka involved because he's like get Ivanka down here because he thought that would be important. I don't think Jared was there in the morning. But I think he came later. I remember thinking it was important to get him in there too.

And of course, Pat Philbin was expressing the same thing. I mean, Pat Philbin was very, as I said, I don't think there was one of these meetings-- or, there might have been. But for the most part, I remember that both of us going down together, going back, getting on phone calls. He was also very clearly expressing this view.