Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Trump knew

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

A former White House aide testified before Congress that in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021, Donald Trump’s closest deputy confided in her that “real, real bad” things might happen on that fateful day. It turned out to be a prescient assessment.

Mark Meadows  Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg

On Jan. 6, Trump and his aides were told that his followers had shown up with weapons ranging from knives to handguns to assault rifles. They were told the crowd, which included white supremacist groups in body armor, was likely planning to breach the Capitol. As the attack began, they were told Trump’s followers were over-running Capitol Police. They were later told the mob was calling for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence—and they even brought their own gallows.

The above—according to emails, texts, police radio transmissions and the explosive testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson—was the picture presented to America on Tuesday in a public hearing unlike any other in modern memory. A former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Hutchinson gave eyewitness testimony as to how Meadows barely reacted when he was repeatedly warned of the escalating chaos. By Hutchinson’s telling, it began with Trump being “furious” with aides and the Secret Service for using metal detectors before his incendiary Jan. 6 speech. Trump said his followers should be allowed to keep their weapons, both during his speech and later when they march on the Capitol, since “they’re not here to hurt me,” she testified. When the speech was over, the Secret Service sought to prevent Trump from going to the Capitol, given the violence there, she said. “I’m the [expletive] president, take me to the Capitol now,” Trump told his security detail, according to Hutchinson. Another aide, Tony Ornato, told her Trump sought to grab the wheel of the presidential limousine and then physically assaulted the head of his Secret Service detail, Robert Engel.

Cassidy Hutchinson Source: Bloomberg

Evidence that Trump knew an armed attack was possible and that violence was imminent, but did nothing to stop it, could make the difference in any decision by the Justice Department to prosecute the former president. The surprise hearing included other critical allegations: that Meadows and other top aides sought pardons and that witnesses appearing before the committee have been contacted by unidentified individuals who may be close to Trump—possibly an attempt to tamper with testimony. As for what Trump was planning if he reached the Capitol that day, Hutchinson said Meadows—along withTrump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry—discussed Trump entering the House of Representatives as the electoral votes were being counted. Throughout Hutchinson’s testimony, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone loomed large. She testified that Cipollone—who the committee has repeatedly called to testify—warned that if Trump went to the Capitol, “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable.”

Pat Cipollone  Photographer: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Upon returning to the White House after the speech, Hutchinson testified that Meadows appeared ambivalent about stopping the violence on Capitol Hill, where more than a half dozen people would die and scores of law enforcement personnel would be injured. Meadows, she said, explained that Trump didn’t want to stop the insurrection. She added that, according to him, the president’s reaction to the mob’s calls for the vice president to be killed was that he “deserves it.”  

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

Here are today’s top stories

When Goldman Sachs executives set out to woo investors in early 2020, they offered a promising outlook for their novelty Main Street business: that the unit would go from a money-suck to break-even in 2022. For about 1.2 billion reasons, it didn’t quite work out that way

In Tokyo’s financial circles, the trade is known as the widow-maker. And while it has done nothing but saddle young, cocksure investors from London to New York with crippling losses over the past two decades, they’re lining up again to take a shot.

Public attention has waned two years into the pandemic’s disruption of global supply chains, giving the impression that everything is back to normal. It’s not. On the ground, America’s busiest port complex is still battling bottlenecks across the board. The crunch is still here.

Russia is closer to getting exactly what it didn’t want. Finland and Sweden are on a potentially clear path to NATO membership now that Turkey has agreed to relent on its objections. Turkey said it will support inviting the two Nordic countries into the military alliance, with details to be worked out at a summit underway in Madrid (China may be worried about who else is at the NATO conclave). The accession of the two countries will radically expand the northern frontier between the alliance and Russia. Meanwhile, Russia’s reliance on foreign software to run its factories, farms and oil fields is turning into a huge headache for domestic industries as more IT providers pull out over Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. On the financial front, Russia defaulted on its external sovereign bonds for the first time in a century, the culmination of ever-tougher sanctions that shut down payment routes to overseas creditors. But when it comes to the actual war, the Kremlin is moving to complete its conquest of Ukraine’s Luhansk region as Kyiv tries to bring more Western weaponry to bear.

They’re turning on each other. As the crypto world struggles with an early winter, a public dispute between a longtime crypto investor and a digital-asset exchange is blasting into view

Roger Ver, aka “Bitcoin Jesus”  Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Ernst & Young admitted that dozens of its audit personnel cheated on the ethics portion of the Certified Public Accountant exam and that the firm misled US regulators probing the misconduct.

China contends that its two largest cities have contained Covid-19 after a four-month lockdown that saw millions of residents confined to their homes, exhaustive testing and restrictions on daily life that impacted every facet of society and the economy. Beijing also announced that it’s reduced quarantine times for inbound travelers by half, the biggest shift yet in a pandemic policy that’s left the world’s second-largest economy isolated. In Europe, a new infection wave is rising as hospitalizations in the US also continue to increase. On Tuesday, an expert committee of the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the US move forward with an updated version of vaccines to address the omicron variant and its progeny. 

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

  • Stocks fall along with consumer confidence. Here’s your markets wrap.
  • JPMorgan retreats from nickel saga as tycoon shrinks his “big short.”
  • Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority hands win to Louisiana GOP.
  • Ghislaine Maxwell gets 20 years as abuse victims get last word.
  • Bolsonaro pal Piquet hit for racist remark about F1 champion Hamilton. 
  • Jupiter CEO quits $68 billion firm to sit at the beach and “do nothing.”
  • This is the best Ivy League school for an MBA that actually pays off.

‘Nests’ Are Coming to Air New Zealand Economy

The world’s first lie-flat “pods” are coming to an economy class airplane section near you. Air New Zealand has had its SkyNest concept in development for the past five years and announced on June 28 it’s ready for prime time—in 2024. The seats are fully flat, made up with real mattresses plus cooling pillows and bedding, and located in the back of the plane, right behind the premium economy cabin.

SkyNest bunks Source: Air New Zealand

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