A 25-year-old Cassidy Hutchinson, two years out of college, cleaning up former president Donald Trump’s lunch after he threw it at a wall in a fit of rage – yesterday’s “surprise” January 6 hearing delivered some of the most riveting testimonies yet.
The focus was on the “surprise witness”: former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson, whose role made her privy to insider scenes in the Oval Office in the lead-up to Trump’s January 6 rally and the Capitol attacks.
But what do we know about Cassidy Hutchinson’s salary and the actual scope of her White House role?
In the aftermath of her bombshell testimony, the former president and his remaining supporters have attempted to discredit her access. However, new accounts from former White House colleagues cast Hutchinson and her job in a very different light.
- TRENDING: Cassidy Hutchinson bio: Age and career so far of Jan 6 ‘surprise witness’
Straight out of college, Hutchinson took on serious White House duties
Cassidy Hutchinson, 26, held a number of roles in the White House, including interning with House Republican Whip Rep Steve Scalise and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. In 2018, while she was a senior at Christopher Newport University, she spoke excitedly about her internship at the Trump White House:
“I attended numerous events hosted by the president, such as signing ceremonies, celebrations and presidential announcements, and frequently watched Marine One depart the South Lawn from my office window.”
Shortly after finishing her education, Hutchinson headed back to Washington DC to take on a role at the White House legislative affairs office. From there she was promoted to principal aide to Trump’s chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, in 2020, a role in which she served until the end of the Trump administration.
Here, according to the January 6 committee select, her duties included “[speaking] daily with members of Congress, with high ranking officials in the administration, with senior White House staff, including Mr. Meadows, with White House counsel lawyers and with Mr. Tony Ornadt, who served as the deputy chief of [operations].”
Committee vice-chair Liz Cheney added that Hutchinson communicated on a daily basis with members of the White House Secret Service, which put her “in a position to know a great deal about the happenings [inside].”
What was Cassidy Hutchinson’s salary?
Despite her young age, Hutchinson, then only 25 years old, handled sensitive information and managed issues beyond those of a regular staffer, the January 6 commission explained.
After learning about her insider access, many viewers of yesterday’s hearing started to wonder what Cassidy Hutchinson’s salary was.
In an annual report to Congress about White House personnel dated 26 June 2020, Hutchinson’s salary is listed as $72,700.00 per year. Her job title is marked as Special Assistant To The President And Coordinator For Legislative Affairs.
The previous year, 2019, the same report lists her as earning a salary of $43,600.00 per year as Staff Assistant.
Seeing as Hutchinson’s role as Mark Meadows’ aide ended with Trump’s presidency, she doesn’t appear on the 2021 earnings report.
According to CNN, she was supposed to become permanent staff at Mar-a-Lago, but that never happened after Hutchinson and Meadows reportedly had a falling-out sometime in 2021.
January 6 testimony highlights
During her surprise testimony in yesterday’s public January 6 hearing, Hutchinson disclosed a number of previously-unknown details about the state of Trump’s inner circle in the lead-up to the Capitol attacks.
Under oath, she described Trump’s irate reaction to learning Secret Service was not taking him to the Capitol following his fiery rally on 6 January. Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani reportedly wanted to join the Capitol crowd.
Hutchinson also stated Trump knew some attendees were armed at his rally and he had asked security to “remove the mags” (the magnetometers used to detect weapons). He reportedly wanted the crowd to be as big as possible, even if that meant allowing in armed supporters.
Additionally, the former aide described a conversation where her then-boss, Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows, had told her “things might get real, real bad on January 6th.” She said she didn’t know what Meadows later did with the information that there was a chance for violence on that date.
Colleagues speak up for former Mark Meadows aide
Following her bombshell testimony, Trump and his remaining supporters have made efforts to discredit Hutchinson and diminish the scope of her role.
However, many former colleagues have stepped up to commend Hutchinson and explain her job entailed much more than stocking the Oval Office with Diet Coke.
A former aid to House Speaker Paul Ryan told the Washington Post Hutchinson “was always in the room” on Meadows’ insistence, even for meetings that were for high-level staff.
Sarah Matthews, who used to be Trump’s spokesperson called Hutchinson “extremely mature for her age, highly intelligent, very personable” and “a very close confidante of [Meadows] even though she was pretty young”.
Former press secretary to Mike Pence, Alyssa Farah Griffin tweeted out her support of Hutchinson.
She also told PolitiFact her former colleague was “an incredibly hard and loyal worker — arriving as early as 6 am and often staying until after midnight. She flew all over the country on AF1 with the president.”
“She was well liked and well respected. Always moving a million miles a minute. She was also on a first-name basis with most Republican members of Congress, and was plugged in throughout Republican circles,” Griffin added.