Trump grabbed the steering wheel and lunged at his driver trying to get to the Capitol on January 6.
A former White House aide testified hearing about the incident immediately after it happened.
Cassidy Hutchinson said Trump said, “I’m the effing president, take me to the Capitol.”
President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel and lunged at his driver, Bobby Engel, while demanding to be taken to the Capitol on January 6, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified during a hearing of the House January 6 Committee on Tuesday.
Hutchinson, a former top aide to then-White House chief of staff, recalled Trump’s efforts to go to the Capitol on January 6 after the rally at the Ellipse.
The incident was recounted to her by Tony Oranto, the Secret Service agent then in charge of Trump’s detail. It took place in the presidential vehicle after the Ellipse rally when Trump was determined to go to the Capitol.
“Tony proceeded to tell me that when the president got in, he was under the impression that the off-the-record movement to the Capitol was still possible and likely to happen,” Hutchinson said. “As the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought they were going up to the Capitol. When Bobby relayed to him that we are not, we do have the assets to do it, it is not secure, we are going back to the West Wing, the president had a very strong and very angry response to that.”
Hutchinson then testified that Trump “said something to the effect of “I’m the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now,” to which Bobby responded, “We have to go back to the West Wing.”
“The president reached up to 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 are going back to the West Wing, we are not going to the Capitol.’ Mr. Trump then used his free hand to launch toward Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson said, adding that when Ornato “recounted the story towards me, he aimed toward his clavicle.”
Engel, who was in the room with Ornato, did not “correct or disagree” with Oranto’s recounting, Hutchinson said.