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Donald Trump pilloried for ‘gaslighting’ Newsmax attack on Cassidy Hutchinson

The former president’s remarks to the ultra-loyal, right-wing network saw him struggling to keep his anger under control

Andrew Naughtie
Friday 01 July 2022 14:45 BST
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Trump says Cassidy Hutchinson ‘living in fantasy land’ after Jan 6th testimony

Donald Trump appeared in a Newsmax interview this week where he laid into former aide Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony about the January 6 attack on the Capitol and, now, some are saying his remarks are tantamount to a form of intimidation.

In the interview, which came after Ms Hutchinson testified that Mr Trump lashed out at the Secret Service agents who drove him away from the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, the former president slammed his former White House aide for her supposed falsehoods and assorted alleged character flaws.

Deriding her as a “whack job” and claiming he hardly knew her despite her role as a senior aide to former chief of staff Mark Meadows, he also claimed she had asked to decamp to Florida with him for employment after the end of his presidency.

“I was going down to Florida with a group of people,” Mr Trump claimed, “great group of people, patriots, and her name was thrown out there and they said, ‘stay away from her.’ They said bad things about her.”

He did not specify who “they” were. Mr Trump has denied Ms Hutchinson’s testimony that when he found out he was not being taken to the Capitol to march on Congress with his supporters, he lunged at the wheel of his presidential car and then grabbed an agent in his detail.

The response to Mr Trump’s interview has been highly negative – and given that the January 6 committee has described efforts to intimidate Ms Hutchinson and possibly others into withholding their testimony, some have even accused him of trying to up that pressure on her in public.

Other critics on social media lambasted him for “gaslighting” his audience as he simultaneously claimed not to know Ms Hutchinson while simultaneously offering up a vivid character assassination.

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