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jan. 6

Jan. 6 witness: Trump tried to grab steering wheel when told he couldn't go to Capitol

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, delivered a shocking testimony before the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday, revealing, among other bombshells, that former President Donald Trump was "irate" he wasn't permitted to visit the Capitol on Jan. 6, and even allegedly grabbed the steering wheel of the presidential limo in anger.

Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato told Hutchinson that when the president got into his limo, he believed he was being taken to the Capitol in an "off-the-record movement," Hutchinson said. Secret Service agent Bobby Engel then informed Trump he couldn't go to the Capitol because it was not secure, she added.

But "the president had a very strong, very angry response to that. Tony described him as being irate," Hutchinson went on. "The president said something to the effect of, 'I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now."

"Bobby responded, 'Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing,'" the ex-aide continued. "The president reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. 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.' Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornato [recounted] this story to me, he motioned toward his clavicles."

Hutchinson also noted Engel was in the room when Ornato told her what happened, and that he did not dispute Ornato's account.

Update June 29, 2022: While Hutchinson testified she was told that Trump reached for the steering wheel of "the Beast" — which refers to the presidential limo — new information suggests that any such incident would have actually taken place in the presidential SUV.