Former president Donald Trump said that winning was "the only thing that matters" as he falsely claimed to have won the race for the 2020 White House in the weeks following the election, according to former top advisor Hope Hicks.
Hicks made her remarks in her recorded testimony to the committee looking into the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, which was played during the panel's Monday meeting. Hicks also told the committee that she expressed concern to Trump that he was damaging his reputation by spreading the myth that the 2020 election was rigged. Hicks was also asked what the president said to her in response.
Bombshell Testimony from Hicks
The recorded testimony was the first time the public heard from Hicks about the Capitol riot. "I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were damaging his legacy," Hicks told the committee.
When asked what Trump said in response, Hicks said, "He said something along the lines of: 'Nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won't matter. The only thing that matters is winning.'"
Hicks is a longtime confidante of the former president. Prior to holding several key positions in the Trump White House, including director of strategic communication, White House communications director, and president's counselor, she worked for the Trump Organization and his 2016 presidential campaign.
She left the White House on January 12, 2021, six days after the Capitol riots.
The committee also showed a text message exchange between Hicks and Hogan Gidley, who served as the White House's deputy press secretary at the time, in which he pleaded with Gidley to push Trump to tweet that his fans in Washington should be "NON-violent."
"I suggested it several times Monday and Tuesday and he refused," Hicks texted back.
When questioned about it during her testimony before the committee, Hicks said that she didn't offer the suggestion to Trump personally but rather via other staffers, such as advisor Eric Herschmann.
"It was my view that it was important that the president put out some kind of message in advance of the event," she said.
Herschmann informed Hicks that he had already suggested the idea to Trump, but that the latter had rejected it, according to Hicks.
Noose Tightening on Trump
The committee's meeting on Monday was its final one for the current Congress. It requested that the Justice Department bring charges against Trump in relation to the tense siege.
Hicks had a meeting with the committee in late October. On Monday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., introduced the video of Hicks' testimony by saying that she was one of the witnesses who came forward during the panel's previous open hearing to "tell us about their conversations with ex-President Trump."
The committee found evidence that during the course of its 18-month investigation, Trump was frequently informed by his campaign aides, federal officials, and others that there was no proof to back up his allegations of election fraud.
Lofgren said that Trump instead "continued to purposely and maliciously make false claims sometimes within a day of being told that a particular claim was false and unsupported by the evidence."
Hicks' testimony, according to Lofgren, is just one of a long list of Trump associates and advisers who urged the then-president directly that he needed to stop the violence and cease promoting his accusations of election fraud.