Cassidy Hutchinson reveals more details on the disarray inside Trump's White House

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WASHINGTON — Cassidy Hutchinson, the former White House aide who last year revealed damning information about Donald Trump and his top allies related to the Jan. 6 insurrection, is sharing more details about her experience inside the administration in a tell-all book released Tuesday.

In the book, "Enough," Hutchinson details her time as an assistant to Mark Meadows, who was the White House chief of staff from March 2020 through the end of the Trump administration.

She alleges, for example, that she witnessed Meadows burning papers in his office fireplace at the White House during the transition period. She says that it occurred during the holidays, when Meadows ordered most staff members to go home, but that she and White House lawyers were there every day. She writes that Meadows asked General Services Administration staff members to light a fire in his office fireplace first thing every morning.

"When I went into his office to deliver lunch or a package to him, I would sometimes find him leaning over the fire, feeding papers into it, watching to make sure they burned, and placing logs on top of ashes," she says in the book.

"I do not know precisely what papers Mark was burning, but his actions raised alarms," writes Hutchinson, who notes that the Presidential Records Act requires staff members to keep all original documents and send them to the National Archives.

Hutchinson also conveyed those observations last year to the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Hutchinson describes her experience working at the White House in 2020 amid the pandemic, writing that Meadows and the White House counsel's office had their hands full one day when Trump demanded that Attorney General William Barr fire the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman.

"Mark leaned against the door and rubbed his temples. 'Cass, if I can get through this job and manage to keep him out of jail' — referring to our boss, the president — 'I'll have done a good job,'" she writes, recalling what Meadows said to her that day.

She also tells a story about when she learned that former presidential candidate and Trump ally Herman Cain had died on July 30, 2020. Hutchinson informed Meadows of his death, and they both remembered that Cain had been at Trump's rally a few weeks earlier in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they believed he contracted Covid.

"Mark had briefly turned his attention to the TV. I had assumed that he was wondering if the news had been made public. He looked back at me and said flatly, 'We killed Herman Cain.' I could hear him swallow. 'Get me his wife's number,' he said sadly," she writes.

Meadows did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Meadows told NBC News in a statement that Hutchinson's memoir was "filled with half truths, falsehoods, and purposefully omitting context to sell books.”

Specifically, the spokesperson said that old newspapers or "miscellaneous paper" were sometimes used "to start or keep the fire going" and that procedures were followed when it came to document retention.

The spokesperson also said the jail remark was in reference to "how Democrats never stop going after the president and would want to prosecute him" and that the Cain comment was Meadows' "expressing exasperation that the press would blame" Trump for Cain's death.

A lawyer for Meadows declined or did not respond to requests for comment in news reports last year about Hutchinson's congressional testimony alleging he burned documents. Hutchinson, a star witness who relayed bombshell testimony to the Jan. 6 committee last year, also had claimed that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the SUV he was in on Jan. 6, 2021, and lunged toward his security detail when he was told it couldn’t take him to the Capitol after his rally.

Trump recently disputed that account in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press." He said that he wanted to go down to the Capitol peacefully but that the Secret Service warned him that it would be better if he didn't.

"I didn’t have a dispute with them. You know, you had that one person said I grabbed the man around the neck. Actually, I wish I was so strong to be able to do that," Trump said, adding that Hutchinson's story was "the craziest account I've ever heard."

"You mean that I was in 'The Beast,' and she said I was in 'The Beast,' and the Secret Service didn’t want — so I took a guy who was, like, a black belt in karate and grabbed his neck and tried to choke him — how ridiculous," he added.

"The Secret Service said, 'Sir, it would be better if you didn’t.' I said, 'I’d love to do it.' They said, 'It would be better.' And so we went back to the White House," Trump said.

In response to the book, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung referred NBC News to a series of posts he made on X, formerly Twitter, in which he called Hutchinson "a liar and her lies have been refuted." In one of the posts, Cheung pointed to reporting at the time of Hutchinson's congressional testimony recounting the alleged incident in the SUV that said some of the officials allegedly involved denied her account.

NBC News reported last week that Hutchinson also alleged in her book that then-Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani groped her on Jan. 6, which a spokesperson for Giuliani called "a disgusting lie.”

Asked about Hutchinson's allegations by Newsmax host Eric Bolling last week, Giuliani called the accusations “absolutely false" and "totally absurd.”

"She claims that I groped her in a tent on January 6, where all the people went in that were very, very cold as a result of the president’s speech, etc.," Giuliani said. "I’m gonna grope somebody, with a hundred people? First, I’m not gonna grope somebody at all, and No. 2, in front of, like, a hundred people?"

Giuliani added that he also had "extra security and I had my entire staff around me virtually all day, because I took them to the speech as kind of a reward for all the work they did."

"So there would have been no occasion for this to happen," he said. "It’s completely absurd."

CORRECTION (Sept. 27, 2023, 3:30 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the first name of a Trump ally. He was Herman Cain, not Hermain.

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