Accounts Of Trump Angrily Demanding To Go To Capitol Hill On January 6 Circulated In The Secret Service

Hutchinson reiterates testimony about Trump’s conduct 0:44

(WABNEWS) — Then-President Donald Trump angrily demanded to go to the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and berated his protection team when he didn’t get his way, according to two Secret Service sources who say they learned of the incident from various agents, including the driver of the presidential van where it occurred.

Sources told WABNEWS that stories circulated about the incident, including details similar to how the former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinsondescribed it to the House select committee investigating on January 6, in the months immediately after the attack on the US Capitol and before she testified this week.


While the details of who heard the accounts differ, Secret Service sources say they were told an angry confrontation occurred. And his accounts align with significant parts of Hutchinson’s testimony, which Trump and his allies have attacked as hearsay and also sought to discredit his testimony in general.

Like Hutchinson, one source, a longtime Secret Service employee, told WABNEWS that agents who broke the story described Trump as “picky” and that the former president said something along the lines of, “I’m the fucking president of America, you can’t tell me what to do.” The source said that he originally heard such language used shortly after the incident.

“He had lunged forward; it wasn’t clear from conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don’t know,” the source said. “No one said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to throw himself on the seat; for what reason, no one had a clue.”

The employee said he had heard about the incident multiple times since February 2021 from other officers, including some who were part of the presidential protection detail during that period, but none of whom were involved in the incident.

The source added that officers often recounted stories of Trump’s fits of rage, including the former president throwing and breaking things.

“Not just plates,” the source added, referring to how Hutchinson testified this week that he saw ketchup on the wall and a smashed china plate on the White House dining room floor after Trump threw his lunch into the kitchen. wall upon hearing about then-Attorney General William Barr telling a media outlet that there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

The other Secret Service source, who spoke with the driver and another agent who wasn’t there, said he heard Trump lashed out at his team verbally, but not about any physical altercation. Neither source told WABNEWS they had heard of Trump trying to grab the steering wheel.

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Three of the people present at the meeting in the presidential SUV, a modified armored version of a Chevrolet Suburban, were Trump, crew chief Robert “Bobby” Engel and the driver whose identity is not publicly known at this time.

Hutchinson herself did not see the incident firsthand. She testified at the select committee hearing Tuesday that then-White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato briefed her on it. She said that Ornato told her the story in front of Engel.

She testified that Ornato told her that Engel repeatedly informed Trump on his way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it was not safe to go to Capitol Hill.

According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump yelling, “I’m the fucking president. Take me to the Capitol now.” Trump then “reached out to the front of the vehicle to grab the steering wheel,” Hutchinson recalled Ornato saying. He added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “pounce” on Engel.

Hutchinson also testified that Trump and his boss, then-presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows, were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, and that Trump supporters had guns when they gathered at the Ellipse that day.

Both Engel and Ornato testified before the committee behind closed doors, but their statements were not used at Tuesday’s hearing.

Neither Engel nor Ornato have commented publicly on Hutchinson’s testimony.

Another Secret Service official previously told WABNEWS that Engel denied that Trump grabbed the steering wheel or lunged at an agent in his detail, and that Ornato denied saying the same thing to Hutchinson. The official did not dispute that Trump ordered his agents to take him to Capitol Hill.

Ornato has a close relationship with Trump and his team, having previously served as the head of his protection team and later being given an unusual leave of absence from his Secret Service duties to be posted to the White House as deputy chief of staff for Trump. operations.

Hutchinson’s account of the alleged incident was among the most shocking parts of Tuesday’s hearing, adding to an already damning portrait of how desperate Trump was to get to Capitol Hill at the time.

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, a member of the committee, said agents can go to the panel and dispute claims under oath.

“Nobody denies that the president wanted to go to the Capitol where this armed mob was attacking Congress and trying to nullify the election,” Lofgren said in an interview on WABNEWS’s AC360 on Wednesday night. “That’s the main shocking point as the story about the limousine shaking was. The real legal significance was that he wanted to go there and no one disputes that.”

Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, another Democratic member of the committee, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press NOW” that “Mr. Ornato did not have as clear memories of this period as I would say Ms. Hutchinson.”

“But we’re always happy when friends who remember things come back and talk to us,” he added. WABNEWS’s Josh Campbell contributed to this report.



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