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Cracks are emerging in Donald Trump's political coalition following explosive testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to an analysis broadcast on CNN.
"Happening now," CNN's Wolf Blitzer began, "former President Trump's risk of criminal prosecution may be rising right now after a former White House aide's explosive public testimony about his erratic behavior Jan. 6 and his role in inciting violence. A senior House Republican is now predicting indictments." That official has yet to be named.
For analysis, Blitzer interviewed CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel following an appearance by former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who said he feared Mark Meadows was "completely incompetent or having a nervous breakdown" on Jan. 6.
"Jamie Gangel, behind the scenes, do Trump allies realize how damming this testimony was?" Blitzer asked.
"Don't think you have to go behind the scenes," Gangel replied. "We just heard Mick Mulvaney there. Also the New York Post, a traditional ally of Trump headline, 'Tyrant Trump.' "The Washington Examiner, also conservative, unfit for power again.
\u201cThe hits on Trump from Murdoch papers continues\u201d— Alex Thompson (@Alex Thompson) 1656528322
The editorial in The Washington Examiner pushed back against Trump attempting a 2024 comeback.
"Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s Tuesday testimony ought to ring the death knell for former President Donald Trump’s political career. Trump is unfit to be anywhere near power ever again," the editorial board wrote. "Trump is a disgrace. Republicans have far better options to lead the party in 2024. No one should think otherwise, much less support him, ever again."
\u201cAm told this is the farthest the official editorials of the Washington Examiner have ever gone in ruling out Trump for the future: https://t.co/2jtSbS32hF\u201d— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper) 1656509439
Gangel had further reporting.
"I spoke last night, today, to many Republican sources," she said. "They all said to me that the testimony was devastating and they felt that Cassidy Hutchinson, from the person they dealt with when she was in legislative affairs, had been someone who was very loyal to Trump, a true believer."
"That said, they also said that they're concerned that this may not be getting through to the Trump base," Gangel noted. "We'll see that in the polls."
Jamie Gangel www.youtube.com
Mick Mulvaney feared Mark Meadows was ‘completely incompetent or having a nervous breakdown’ on Jan. 6
Former Trump acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney explained to CNN's Jake Tapper his fear for the mental stability of Mark Meadows as the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was unfolding.
"Leading this hour, she must have struck a nerve," Tapper said. "The lawyer for former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson issued a statement stating that Hutchinson stands by all of the testimony she gave to the Jan. 6 select committee yesterday, under oath. Several of Donald Trump's staunchest Republican defenders have attacked her publicly, though not under oath, we should note."
"Others have been publicly silent after Hutchinson's stunning testimony. "In private, however, former Trump aides tell CNN the testimony painted a picture of Trump completely unhinged and losing all control," he reported. "A damning portrait."
For analysis, Tapper interviewed Mulvaney, who also served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, Congress, as a special envoy for Northern Ireland, and in both houses of the South Carolina legislature.
The interview occurred after Mulvaney wrote an op-ed published by USA Today where he wrote, "Things could get very dark for the former president."
\u201cA stunning 2 hours:\n\n1)Trump knew the protesters had guns\n2)He assaulted his own security team\n3)There may be a line from ProudBoys to the WH\n4)Top aides asked for pardons\n5)The commission thinks they have evidence of witness tampering.\n\nThat is a very, very bad day for Trump.\u201d— Mick Mulvaney (@Mick Mulvaney) 1656444468
"Cassidy Hutchinson gave remarkable testimony about chief of staff Mark Meadows seemingly unwilling to engage," Tapper said "What did you make of her recollection that, you know, she or Tony Ornoto or Pat Cipollone, people were trying to tell him things and he was sitting on the sofa scrolling on the phone, unresponsive, especially when they were trying to tell Meadows about the threat of violence?"
"That struck me personally, that's my sofa," Mulvaney replied. "I used that sofa, it was my office, my fireplace he was sitting by."
"I understand exactly what the dynamics are there," he continued. "The visual image of Cassidy coming to the door, maybe with Pat there, or Pat there a little afterward and trying to talk to Mark and Mark not even looking up, according to Cassidy, and just staring at his phone and they have to interrupt him to make sure he's paying attention sends a disturbing message of what the West Wing was like. I was texting with a colleague of mine in the West Wing at the time, and said, 'Look, was Mark completely incompetent or having a nervous breakdown?' The response was it was a little bit of both."
"The West Wing was clearly broken and the testimony yesterday actually made me feel bad for some of the good people still there who had to work in that environment with the chief of staff who was so obviously disengaged, again, according to what Cassidy said yesterday," Mulvaney said. "Very disturbing for me to hear that as a former chief of staff."
Mick Mulvaney www.youtube.com
A prominent official at Rhode Island’s only nuclear power facility was arrested today on charges of felony civil disorder and physical violence in connection with the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Bernard Joseph Sirr, 47, of North Kingstown, is accused by the FBI of having taken part in the front line of a group of protesters who were attacking Capitol Police.
“He is seen pushing against the police line with his hand pressed against a police shield. He also participated in a struggle in which a group of rioters chanted “Heave! Ho!” in unison as they moved together as a team against the officer,” according to a news release from the Department of Justice.
Sirr earns an annual salary of $82,009 as nuclear facilities engineer for the R.I. Atomic Energy Commission at the University of Rhode Island’s Bay Campus in Narragansett, the Providence Journal reported. The commission runs Rhode Island’s only nuclear reactor.
Sirr was on leave from his job from January 5-7, 2021, according to FBI arrest documents. Here’s how the Boston Globe described official reaction to Sirr’s arrest:
“We really don’t have much in the way to comment,” Jeff Davis, assistant director of the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center, told the Globe. “If he participated in the protest that’s OK. It doesn’t have anything to do with our security efforts. We are doing what they guide us to do.”
“We are a very small agency,” Davis added. “We have 8.6 full-time equivalents employees... This is someone I worked with for years and I have a sense of his character. We don’t see him as a threat.”
R.I. Department of Administration spokesperson Laura Hart told the Globe: “Jeff Davis is speaking for himself and not representing the agency.” Sirr has been placed on paid administrative leave, she said.
A Globe journalist posted this Tweet showing Sirr being pursued by reporters after leaving the federal courthouse.
You can read the FBI statement of facts here.