WASHINGTON ― Former US president Donald Trump got into a physical altercation after he tried to grab the wheel to turn the presidential motorcade around and go to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Tuesday.
Hutchinson testified before the House’s January 6 committee that she heard from another Trump aide that the ex-president was “irate” after Secret Service agents told him they were taking him back to the White House shortly after he instructed his supporters to march on the Capitol building.
“The president said something to the effect of, I’m the f-ing president, take me up to the Capitol now. To which [Secret Service agent Bobby Engel] responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing,’” Hutchison said.
She continued: “The president reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr Engel grabbed his arm and 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.’”
“Mr Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr [Anthony] Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.”
Hutchinson, 25, is a former House GOP staffer who was close with Meadows, and who occupied a desk next to the former chief of staff’s office in the White House. Meadows, 62, has refused to appear before the January 6 committee.
Hutchinson said on Tuesday she was personally disturbed by the January 6 riot.
“It was really sad. As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. You’re watching the Capitol building defaced over a lie,” she said.
Trump attempted to distance himself from Hutchinson on his social media website, Truth Social. The former president claimed he “hardly knew” the former White House staffer. He called her “bad news” but did not dispute her account.
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who now works for CBS News, called Hutchinson’s testimony “explosive”.
“I don’t think she is lying,” he added.