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Trump attacked Secret Service agent after Jan. 6 Capitol trip rejected

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally, in Conroe, Texas, U.S., January 29, 2022.

Go Nakamura | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent in a rage within the presidential limousine when told he couldn’t be taken to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a former White House aide testified Tuesday.

“I’m the ‘effing’ president, take me as much as the Capitol now!” Trump insisted, in keeping with the aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, describing what she was told had happened within the limo that day by one other White House aide, Tony Ornato.

Trump also grabbed the steering wheel of the limo in a fury after learning he wouldn’t be taken there, Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson, who served as a top aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, revealed the dramatic incident for the primary time at an abruptly scheduled hearing of the select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump desired to go to the Capitol that day after speaking at a rally outside of the White House to supporters, whom he urged to march with him to Congress and “fight” against the continuing confirmation of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

But White House lawyers were strongly against Trump doing so, fearing that it could lead on to charges of inciting a riot or interfering with the Electoral College certification process.

Pat Cipollone, who on the time was White House counsel, warned staff “we’ll get charged with every crime possible” if Trump went to Capitol, Hutchinson testified.

But she said that when Trump ended his rally he was still under the impression from Meadows that it was still possible for him to go to the Capitol and more likely to occur.

Trump then got into the presidential limo, often known as “The Beast,” with Secret Service Special Agent Bobby Engel, the top of the president’s protective detail.

Cassidy Hutchinson, who was an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows through the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, demonstrates Trump’s actions contained in the presidential limousine on January 6 as she testifies during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to research the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 28, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

“So once the President had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going as much as the Capitol, and when Bobby had relayed to him, we’re not you haven’t got the assets to do it,” said Hutchinson, citing what Ornato later told her.

Engel told Trump, ” ‘It is not secure. We’re going back to the West Wing,’ ” Hutchinson said.

“The president had a really strong, very offended response to that. Tony described him as being irate,” she testified.

Trump said something like, ” ‘I’m the effing president, take me as much as the Capitol now!’ ” she testified.

When Engel then refused again, Trump “reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab on the steering wheel,” she said. “Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir, you want to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing.’ “

Trump “then used his free hand to lunge toward Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified.

When Onato told Hutchinson this, he motioned his hands toward his clavicle, she said.

Hutchinson also testified that when she saw Engel sitting within the White House after the incident, he looked “somewhat discombobulated” and “lost.”

Trump later Tuesday denied Hutchinson’s account and criticized her in a series of posts on his social media site.

“Her Fake story that I attempted to grab the steering wheel of the White House Limousine so as to steer it to the Capitol Constructing is ‘sick’ and fraudulent, very very like the Unselect Committee itself — Would not even have been possible to do such a ridiculous thing,” Trump wrote.

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