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Sarah Matthews, a former Trump deputy press secretary, and Matthew Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser under Trump, will testify July 21 before the Jan. 6 committee hearing. Both resigned on Jan. 6.
Matthews told the committee that Trump’s tweet during the riot about Vice President Mike Pence was “like he was pouring gasoline on the fire.”
Pottinger is expected to testify about being at the White House on the day of Jan. 6.
The Jan. 6 committee will be calling forward people who worked inside the White House to provide evidence about former President Donald Trump’s three hours of inaction during the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The witnesses include Sarah Matthews, a former Trump deputy press secretary who called Jan. 6 "one of the darkest days in American history," and Matthew Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser. They are expected to testify about Trump’s failure to act as rioters violently breached the Capitol.
"Make no mistake, the events on the 6th were a coup attempt, a term we'd use had they happened in any other country, and former President Trump failed to meet the moment," Matthews tweeted on the first anniversary of Jan. 6.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., one of the committee members, told CBS News’ "Face the Nation" that the hearing will "open people's eyes in a big way." The July 21 hearing will be broadcast at 8 p.m. EDT.
"The president didn't do very much but gleefully watch television during this time frame," he said.
Matthews was among the former Trump aides who defended Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows. Hutchinson testified that Trump knew the crowd had weapons at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021 — and he encouraged them to march to the U.S. Capitol anyway.
Here’s what we know about Matthews and Pottinger.
Matthews served as the deputy press secretary for Trump’s re-election campaign June 2019 through June 2020 before becoming deputy press secretary and special assistant to Trump at the White House.
She resigned the evening of Jan. 6, stating that she was proud of the policies enacted during the Trump administration, but was "deeply disturbed by what I saw today."
In February 2021, Matthews became the communications director for House Republicans on the Select Committee on Climate Crisis.
In previous hearings, the committee has highlighted excerpts of Matthews’ testimony.
Matthews told the committee about a Jan. 5 meeting at the Oval Office during which Trump and aides discussed his rally planned for the next day.
Trump "had the door of the Oval open to the Rose Garden because you could hear the crowd already assembled outside on the Ellipse," Matthews said. "And they were playing music, and it was so loud that you could feel it shaking in the Oval. He was in a very good mood. And I say that because he had not been in a good mood for weeks leading up to that, and then it seemed like he was in a fantastic mood that evening."
Matthews said Trump looked to the staff and asked for ideas of how "‘we could make the RINOs (Republican in Name Only) do the right thing’ is the way he phrased it. And no one spoke up initially, because I think everyone was trying to process what that — he meant by that."
As the riot unfolded in the early afternoon Jan. 6, Matthews said she thought Trump "needed to tweet something and tweet something immediately." At 2:24, Trump tweeted, "Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!"
Matthews testified that Trump’s tweet "felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire by tweeting that."
Matthews, now 27, told her college, Kent State University, that while working for the Trump campaign she met Kayleigh McEnany, the campaign’s national press secretary. After McEnany left the campaign to become White House Press Secretary, she offered a job to Matthews in June 2020 as deputy press secretary.
Before she worked for Trump, Matthews, of North Canton, Ohio, held positions with the federal government that included serving as an intern for Ohio Republicans Sen. Rob Portman and House Speaker John Boehner.
Since leaving the White House, Matthews has remained loyal to the Republican party but only occasionally mentions Trump, such as in tweets about Trump’s visit to the border and the access he provided to reporters. Matthews more often tweets or retweets criticism of Biden’s agenda or statements on the economy, energy, foreign policy.
Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former Pence press secretary and special assistant to Trump, told PolitiFact that Matthews is a "tried-and-true Republican, but she was horrified by what she saw on Jan. 6 and has consistently spoken up since for democracy and against election denialism."
Pottinger spent four years as a senior adviser in the Trump administration on the National Security Council (NSC), with his last two as the deputy national security adviser from 2019 to 2021. Before that role, he was the senior director for Asia at the NSC, drawing on his experience in the 1990s and early 2000s as a reporter in China for Reuters and The Wall Street Journal, where he covered the 2003 SARS outbreak. From 2007 to 2010, he served in the Marines and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
During his job switch in 2005 to the military, he penned a commentary in The Wall Street Journal about his experiences living in China and desire to be a Marine.
While living abroad, he was struck by "the institutions that distinguish the U.S.: the separation of powers, a free press, the right to vote and a culture that values civic duty and service."
After his time in the military and before getting tapped by the Trump administration, he worked as a consultant and investment researcher with a focus on Asia.
Pottinger is known for being the highest-ranking White House official to resign on Jan. 6. In a previous hearing, we’ve heard in his recorded testimony that he decided to leave the job after reading Trump’s tweet that day about former Vice President Mike Pence not having "courage" in his role in certifying the results of the 2020 election.
At the committee hearing on June 28, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., described Pottinger as being "in the vicinity of the Oval Office at various points throughout the day."
Pottinger currently lives in Utah with his family and is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank out of Stanford University, and a senior adviser at the Marathon Initiative, a national security policy group.
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CNN, First on CNN: Former Trump National Security Council official will testify at Thursday’s January 6 hearing, July 19, 2022
LinkedIn, Sarah Matthews, Accessed July 19, 2022
Sarah Matthews, Tweets, Jan. 6, 2022
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, Feb. 8, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, June 23, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, March 30, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, Sarah Matthews, Tweet, March 18, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, May 7, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, March 18, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, Feb. 18, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, July 20, 2021
Sarah Matthews, Tweet, July 14, 2021
CBS, Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews to testify at Jan. 6 hearing, source says, July 18, 2022
CBS, Kinzinger says next Jan. 6 hearing on Trump's actions will "open people's eyes in a big way" July 17, 2022
Hoover Institution, Matt Pottinger, Accessed July 19, 2022
New York Times, Trump national security aide expected to testify at Jan. 6 hearing, July 18, 2022
Politico, The White House Official Trump Says Doesn’t Exist, May 30, 2018
Washington Post, Matthew Pottinger faced Communist China’s intimidation as a reporter. He’s now at the White House shaping Trump’s hard line policy toward Beijing, April 29, 2020
Wall Street Journal, Mightier Than the Pen, July 19, 2005
Slate, Who Is Sarah Matthews? July 11, 2022
New Yorker, The Plague Year, Dec. 28, 2020
Business Insider, Trump attacks Pence for not having the 'courage' to overturn the election as the president's supporters storm the Capitol, January 6, 2021
The Atlantic, Meet Captain Matt Pottinger, United States Marine Corps, April 5, 2011
The Hill, Who is Matthew Pottinger, the Trump National Security official testifying to Jan. 6 panel?, July 19, 2022
NPR, Trump consistently bends reality, sells his narrative in interviews for Woodward book, Sept. 9, 2020
Washington Post, For those who quit Trump after riot, critics say it’s too little — and four years too late, Jan. 15, 2021
ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl, Tweet, July 19, 2022
Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs, Tweet, Jan. 6, 2021
NPR, Here's every word from the seventh Jan. 6 committee hearing on its investigation, July 12, 2022
NPR, Here's every word of the third Jan. 6 committee hearing on its investigation, June 16, 2022
Trump twitter archive, Mentions of Vice President Mike Pence, Jan. 6, 2021
Kent State University, First stop, Washington D.C. Oct. 23, 2020
Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former Pence press secretary and special assistant to Trump, text to PolitiFact, July 19, 2022
NPR, Here's every word from the sixth Jan. 6 committee hearing on its investigation, June 28, 2022