FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT Donald Trump, accused Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, of lying before the Jan. 6 Committee investigating Trump’s alleged involvement in the Capitol Hill riots.
In a statement released at noon, the former president said, “Her whole story was made up, including the fact that I wanted guns to be standing all around me, during my speech. Who would want that?!”
Trump’s announcement included a screenshot of a tweet from Jack Posobiec, senior editor of Human Events, which read, “BREAKING: Multiple sources including one who was at the WH on Jan 6 tell me Cipollone was not there in the am when Hutchinson testified she spoke with him. J6 Cmtes is aware of this discrepancy & are ignoring media inquiries about it. Seem she made up the entire conversation.”
What did Hutchinson say during her hearing?
The extensive testimony of Hutchinson — considered one of the Democrats’ star witnesses in these hearings — reached a strong interest nationwide, becoming the most covered statement by the press and, at the same time, one of the most questioned so far.
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For example, Hutchinson claimed that Trump “lunged” at Secret Service agents inside the presidential limousine for a ride in the direction of the Capitol after the rally.
According to the testimony, the former president became very aggressive, allegedly reaching for the steering wheel to make the drivers go towards the legislative seat. According to Hutchinson, Trump said, “I’m the f— President. Take me up to the Capitol now.”
However, according to her own testimony, the former aide to the chief of staff did not witness this scene but instead relied on the story told by Anthony Ornato, Trump’s chief operating officer.
This statement is already being challenged, including by Secret Service personnel, as reported by ABC News executive editorial producer John Santucci.
“New: Source close to the Secret Service tells [ABC Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas] to expect the Secret Service to push back against any allegation of an assault against an agent or President Trump reaching for the steering wheel,” Santucci said on Twitter.
Likewise, a source close to Ornato, told Fox News that the former operations chief did not inform Hutchinson that Trump pounced on the steering wheel of the presidential limousine.
“Both Bobby Engel, the top agent on Trump’s Secret Service detail who was in the car, and Ornato, who was not in the car, testified to the January 6 Committee in private over the past year, the source close to Ornato said,” the Fox News report read. “Engel and Ornato never brought up part about steering wheel, according to that source. Both want to testify on the record again and refute the part about Trump grabbing or trying to grab the wheel.”
Hutchinson also stated that Trump asked the Secret Service to get rid of the security magnetometers because they were allegedly preventing armed people from entering the former president’s rally.
According to Mark Meadows’ former aide, Trump wanted the rally to be at maximum capacity and was upset that the event had not yet been filled.
“He thought the mags were at fault for not letting everybody in. But another leading reason, likely the primary reason, is because he wanted it full and he was angry that we weren’t letting people through the mags with weapons — what the Secret Service deems as weapons,” Hutchinson said during the taped hearing last Tuesday, June 28.
In addition, Hutchinson mentioned that she witnessed a conversation between Meadows, his boss, and Cipollone, where the former commented that Trump allegedly dismissed radical chants against his vice president Mike Pence.
“I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, ‘Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice president to be f-ing hung’,… And Mark had responded something to the effect of, ‘You heard him Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong'”