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Secret Service sources reportedly bolster Hutchinson’s testimony

According to a Secret Service source, Donald Trump "tried to lunge over the seat" on Jan. 6. Efforts to discredit Cassidy Hutchinson just got tougher.


There was no shortage of critically important revelations from Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony this week before the Jan. 6 committee. The former White House aide shed light, for example, on Donald Trump wanting to get rid of metal detectors so that armed supporters could hear him lie before they went to Capitol Hill. Just as importantly, the Republican was desperate to join the mob at his remarks.

Hutchinson similarly testified about Trump telling his team that then-Vice President Mike Pence “deserved” to be hunted by rioters, the warnings Trump received about prospective violence. We also learned about cabinet secretaries considering removing the then-president from office, requested pardons, possible witness tampering, and a thrown meal that left ketchup on a White House wall.

But there was another part of this week’s hearing that wasn’t nearly as substantive or as legally significant, but which generated plenty of conversation: Hutchinson described a scene, which had been described to her by Tony Ornato, of Trump going a little berserk after his Secret Service agents told him he was being taken back to the White House after his speech at the Ellipse, not to the Capitol.

While the right has targeted this story in recent days, CNN published a report this afternoon, which has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, that appeared to bolster the revelations from Tuesday’s hearing.

Then-President Donald Trump angrily demanded to go to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and berated his protective detail when he didn’t get his way, according to two Secret Service sources who say they heard about the incident from multiple agents, including the driver of the presidential SUV where it occurred.

In case anyone needs a refresher, after he riled up his mob with lies, the then-president returned to his vehicle, where things reportedly got weird.

According to the version of events that had been described to Hutchinson, Trump got into the backseat of a presidential suburban and said, “I’m the f’ing president, take me up to the Capitol now.” When that didn’t happen, again according to the version of events that had been described to Hutchinson, Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the Suburban he was riding in.

According to the former White House staffer’s understanding, Trump also reached toward the throat of Secret Service agent Robert Engel during the incident.

The former president has subsequently insisted that there was no such skirmish, but CNN’s sources said stories about incident — including the details Hutchinson described in her sworn testimony — circulated among Secret Service agents early last year. From the network’s report:

While the details from those who heard the accounts differ, the Secret Service sources say they were told an angry confrontation did occur. And their accounts align with significant parts of Hutchinson’s testimony, which has been attacked as hearsay by Trump and his allies who also have tried to discredit her overall testimony. Like Hutchinson, one source, a longtime Secret Service employee, told CNN that the agents relaying the story described Trump as “demanding” and that the former President said something similar to: “I’m the f**king President of the United States, you can’t tell me what to do.” The source said he originally heard that kind of language was used shortly after the incident.

One of CNN’s sources said, in reference to Trump, “He had sort of lunged forward -- it was unclear from the conversations I had that he actually made physical contact, but he might have. I don’t know. Nobody said Trump assaulted him; they said he tried to lunge over the seat — for what reason, nobody had any idea.”

CNN’s report added that the same unnamed source said he’d heard about the incident multiple times as far back as February 2021 from other agents, including some who were part of the presidential protective detail during that time period but none of whom were involved in the incident.

It would appear that the right’s desperate efforts to undermine Hutchinson’s credibility have just suffered another blow.