On Jan. 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump appeared to signal to the crowd of his supporters that he would join them in marching to the U.S. Capitol.
And according to a former White House aide who testified before the House committee investigating the riot, Trump was determined to drive to the Capitol and was very upset that he was taken back to the White House instead.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to the White House chief of staff at the time, told the committee in a surprise hearing on Tuesday that the former president believed he would be driven to the Capitol in the presidential limo.
“So once the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going up to the Capitol. And when [Secret Service Special Agent Bobby Engel] had relayed to him, we’re not, we don’t have the assets to do it, it’s not secure. We’re going back to the West Wing. The president had a very strong, very angry response to that,” Hutchinson testified.
She continued, “[White House aide Tony Ornato] described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f*****g president! Take me up to the Capitol now.’ To which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.'”
Watch the video below:
"I'm the effing president. Take me up to the Capitol now," Trump told the Secret Service as his supporters marched there on Jan. 6.
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) June 28, 2022
She went on:
“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.’ Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.”
Trump said in a speech shortly before the violence, “We’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you. … We are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give — the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote.
“But we are going to give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country,” he added.
Hutchinson also testified that Trump was aware that people were armed that day. Still, he wanted metal detectors removed from the area where his rally that day was being held because “he wanted it to be full and for people to not feel excluded because they had come far to watch him at the rally and he felt the [metal detectors] were at fault.”
“I overheard the president say something to the effect of ‘I don’t f*****g care they have weapons! They’re not here to hurt me! Take the f*****g [metal detectors] away! They can March to the Capitol from here! Take the [metal detectors] away!’” she added.
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