Trump admits he told Secret Service to take him to Capitol on Jan 6 in rambling campaign rally

‘It’s not my deal. I’m a lover, not a fighter,’ Mr Trump told a crowd of supporters in Wisconsin about his actions on January 6

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 01 May 2024 22:41 BST
Trump admits he told Secret Service to take him to Capitol on Jan 6

Former president Donald Trump has now admitted to ordering Secret Service agents to drive him to the US Capitol on January 6 — but still relayed a very different version of events to the testimony given by his former aide.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump administration chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before Congress back in June 2022 that, when the mob of rioters stormed the building, Mr Trump insisted Secret Service agents take him to the Capitol.

When the agents refused, she said the then-president “lunged” to grab the steering wheel of the car.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump used a day off from his criminal trial in Manhattan to hold a rally in Wisconsin where he regaled his version of what happened that day, admitting that he did demand to be taken to the Capitol that day.

“I sat in the back,” he said, and then asked the Secret Service agents: “I’d like to go down there because I see a lot of people walking down.”

“Sir, it’s better if you don’t,” the agents insisted, according to Mr Trump.

“Well, I’d like to,” Mr Trump pressed.

“It’s better if you don’t,” the Secret Service insisted, he said.

Mr Trump then mocked Ms Hutchinson’s claims that he had “attacked” the agents.

He insisted that he was using a soft tone throughout the car ride.

“Remember the person that said I attacked a Secret Service agent in the front of the car? It’s not my deal. I’m a lover, not a fighter,” he told the Wisconsin crowd.

Donald Trump speaks at rally in Wisconsin on 1 May 2024 (RSBN)

He went on to label previous descriptions of the encounter as “crazy stuff”, though failed to mention her by name.

The White House aide had testified to the January 6 House select Committee that she had heard that Mr Trump had told Bobby Engel, the head of his Secret Service detail, “something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f***ing president, take me up to the Capitol now.’”

Ms Hutchinson told the committee that Mr Engel replied: “’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.”

She continued, “Mr Engel grabbed his arm and 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.’”

Ms Hutchinson’s testimony was echoed somewhat by that of an unnamed Secret Service agent who was driving the car at the time.

“The president was insistent on going to the Capitol,” the driver said, according to a transcript from the January 6 panel.

“It was clear to me he wanted to go to the Capitol. He was not screaming at Mr Engel,” he continued. “He was not screaming at me. Certainly his voice was raised, but it did not seem to me that he was irate — certainly not, certainly didn’t seem as irritated or agitated as he had on the way to the Ellipse.”

The January 6 Committee’s final report called Mr Trump the “central cause” of the Capitol riot.

Mr Trump’s Wisconsin rally, where he was joined by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, comes before the sixth day of testimony in his criminal trial gets under way in New York on Thursday. T

he former president is accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair.

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