Trump lunged at security detail, steering wheel to get to Capitol on Jan. 6, aide says
Former President Trump lunged at his own security detail and at the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle when he was told he could not go to the Capitol to join his supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, a former top aide testified Tuesday.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that Trump had been pushing to go to the Capitol after giving a speech on the Ellipse that day.
Hutchinson told the committee that then-deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato told her that Trump was “irate” when Robert Engel, the special agent in charge for Secret Service on Jan. 6, told Trump when he got into the presidential SUV that going to the Capitol would not be possible.
“The president had a very strong, a very angry response to that,” Hutchinson testified. “Tony described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f—— president, take me up to the Capitol now.’”
“[Engel] said, ‘Sir we have to go back to the West Wing,’” Hutchinson continued. “The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir you need to take your hand off the steering wheel, we’re going back to the West Wing, we’re not going to the Capitol.'”
“Trump then used his free hand to lunge at Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified.
Hutchinson told the committee neither Engel nor Ornato disputed the description of what had happened.
Trump ultimately did not go to the Capitol with supporters, who went on to breach the building and delay the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Multiple people were killed in the ensuing chaos.
Video from just after Trump’s Jan. 6 speech showed he was riding in an SUV, not a limousine that day.
Updated at 4:18 p.m.