Former President Donald J. Trump delivered the goods at CPAC with another of his epic, crowd pleasing speeches in which he excoriated his adversaries and brilliantly mocked the story of former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchison about his alleged clash with Secret Service agents on January 6, 2021.
Hutchinson, who was the top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who was unveiled as the J6 committee’s star “witness” in June told a tale that an “irate” Trump lunged at the steering wheel in his presidential limo “The Beast” and reportedly said “I’m the F***ing president! Take me up to the Capitol now,” and physically struggled with agents, allegedly choking one.
Despite it being a secondhand account and her not having to face cross-examination in the committee’s one-sided Soviet-style hearings, Hutchinson’s story was seized on by the media to reinforce their narrative that Trump acted like a maniac during the protests that went badly awry.
On Saturday, he set the record straight on Hutchinson’s ludicrous testimony.
“How ’bout that phony story, I’m sitting in the back of “The Beast,” Trump began, “I wasn’t sure if I should be honored because I felt very strong,” as the crowd laughed. “And I had these two big, strong Secret Service guys, the one guy could lift 350 lbs, no problem. And I said, take me to the Capitol. ‘No sir, can’t do it.’”
“So I grabbed the steering wheel, to commandeer the thing,” he said to more audience laughter. “And he rebuffed me, she said. He rebuffed. Interesting way– he rebuffed me, yeah like this. He rebuffed me.”
“So my hands fell around another powerful guy. Strong as hell. I know these people, these are very strong people. It’s just not my deal. And I started to choke him. I felt, you know. So when the story came out, some people said, ‘I never knew you were that strong physically,’” he added.
“And then, as they said, I started throwing food all over the White House,” referring to Hutchinson’s claim that an enraged Trump hurled his lunch in anger, creating a mess with “ketchup dripping down the wall” which was more catnip for the media.
“Now I have too much respect for the White House, but that somebody could sort of believe, you know, that you could,” Trump said. “But to think that I’m going to be jumping into the seat, grabbing a wheel, being rebuffed. grabbing this big powerful guy, his neck is like this, and grabbed me I’m going to take him.”
“Oh boy, oh, boy, oh, boy. What we have to put– and guess what? The Secret Service put out an announce–which they never do, put out an announcement that it never happened, which everyone knew anyway,” he said. “But they won’t interview anybody from the Secret Service because they don’t want to hear that. And I still see the Times writing about it like it’s something that happened.”
“They don’t want that, they haven’t called anybody from the Secret Service to put them on the stand,” Trump pointed out.
Hutchinson’s testimony was heavily-hyped as the Liz Cheney-led committee sought to grab the attention of Americans who remained largely uninterested in the travesty.
"I’m the F’ing President. Take me up to the Capitol now." pic.twitter.com/LWg2sdFtTi
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 28, 2022
“So once the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going up to the Capitol. And when Bobby 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,” she said, referring to Robert Engel, the head of Trump’s security detail.
“The president had a very strong, very angry response to that,” she said, relating a second-hand account from White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato. “Tony described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, “I’m the f-ing president! Take me up to the Capitol now. To which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing,’”
“The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engels 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’.” Hutchinson added. “Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and Mr., when Mr. Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.”
The story always stretched the limits of credibility and Trump’s mockery gave it the treatment that it was deserving of.
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