Cassidy Hutchinson testified that on January 6, 2021, Trump tried to grab the wheel and lunged at Secret Service agents.
Tony Ornato, a former White House official, is said to dispute that account.
The Trump White House Official Who Would Dispute Cassidy Hutchinson’s Explosive Testimony Last Week has a history of lying to former President Donald Trump, two former White House officials said.
Hutchinson, a former top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said in her testimony before the select committee investigating the Capitol riots that Trump became “enraged” when his Secret Service refused him to join his office. supporters who marched on January 6. , 2021.
Citing what she said was a conversation with Tony Ornato, the then-Deputy White House chief of staff in charge of operations, Hutchinson said Ornato told her Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential SUV and lunged at the agent. from Secret Service Robert Engel.
According to Hutchinson, Ornato told her that Trump shouted, “I’m the effing president, take me to the Capitol now.”
However, Ornato is said to be questioning that statement, and plans to say the same in testimony before the Jan. 6 committee, USA Today reported:† CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz too reported last week, citing an unnamed Secret Service official, who denied Ornato telling Hutchinson that Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent or the wheel.
Ornato plans to say that while it was true that Trump wanted to join those marching on the Capitol on Jan. 6, he never lunged at Engel or tried to grab the wheel, USA Today reported.
likewise, Peter Alexander of NBC News reported that Engel is willing to testify under oath that he was not attacked by Trump and that the former president never jumped at the wheel.
But former White House officials Olivia Troye and Alyssa Farah Griffin criticized Ornato, saying he has a history of lying to Trump.
“There seems to be a pattern here of conversations happening that are uncomfortable conversations for Tony and then he comes back and says they never happened,” Troye, who served as Vice President Pence’s homeland security and counter-terrorism adviser, said. to USA Today.
“That really speaks to Tony’s character and credibility, and whether he has a history of doing it [Trump’s] offer, and then refuse to protect him.”
And Griffin, a former Trump White House communications director, tweeted on June 29: “Tony Ornato lied about me, too. During the 2020 Lafayette Square protests, I told Mark Meadows & Ornato to warn the press before cleaning up the square. Meadows replied, ‘We don’t do that.’ “
“Tony later lied and said the exchange never happened. He knows it happened.”
Hutchinson told the Jan. 6 hearings that Trump wanted to join his supporters who marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6 as he wanted to deliver a second speech outside the complex. The crowd had gathered at the Capitol immediately after Trump spoke at a rally at nearby Ellipse.
A former Secret Service agent previously told Insider’ Nicole Gaudiano that it would be extremely difficult for Trump to grab the wheel of the presidential SUV given his size.
“Trump is not a little boy, is he? And the space to actually jump to the wheel is not that big,” said the former agent.
“I don’t want to sound disdainful of the former president, but only his size would prevent him from actually getting behind the wheel.”
Trump representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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