Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Thursday that Secret Service agent Tony Ornato, who is expected to dispute Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the Jan. 6 Committee, “likes to lie.”
Hutchinson, a former aide to previous White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the committee that former President Donald Trump lunged for the steering wheel inside the presidential limousine to veer toward the Capitol, then lunged toward agent Robert Engel. She claimed Ornato informed her of this alleged incident.
The two agents are reportedly prepared to contradict Hutchinson’s testimony, according to NBC News’ Peter Alexander. Ornato allegedly denied telling Hutchinson that either event occurred, CNN reporter Gabby Orr said.
Kinzinger responded to two former White House officials who suggested that Ornato has a record of denying conversations and spreading lies. Former White House Homeland Security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye, pointed to a Washington Post article where Ornato denied having a conversation with Ret. Army Gen. Keith Kellogg.
Ornato reportedly told Kellogg he was moving Pence to Joint Base Andrews, to which Kellogg replied “You can’t do that, Tony.” The agent allegedly denied having that conversation.
Tony Ornato sure seems to deny conversations he’s apparently had. First this one with Keith Kellogg in “I Alone Can Fix It” & now he’s denying the story he told Cassidy Hutchinson. Those of us who worked w/ Tony know where his loyalties lie. He should testify under oath. pic.twitter.com/4vsTL0GB2D
— Olivia of Troye (@OliviaTroye) June 29, 2022
Former White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah Griffin alleged that Ornato denied an exchange between the two of them during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests on Lafayette Square.
“Tony Ornato lied about me too. During the protests at Lafayette sq in 2020, I told Mark Meadows & Ornato they needed to warn press staged there before clearing the square. Meadows replied: “we aren’t doing that.” Tony later lied &said the exchange never happened. He knows it did.”
The reports caught the eye of Kinzinger, who replied that Ornato “likes to lie.”
“There seems to be a major thread here…Tony Ornato likes to lie,” he tweeted.
There seems to be a major thread here… Tony Ornato likes to lie. https://t.co/0c2itYqf5J
— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) June 30, 2022
Engel had reportedly been interviewed by the committee, revealing that law enforcement officials did not find it feasible for Trump to go to the Capitol, according to Politico.
Trump hit back at Hutchinson’s testimony in an interview Thursday with Newsmax, saying he did not Engel, lunge toward the steering wheel or want the protesters to carry guns at the “Stop the Steal” rally.
“This lady yesterday, is there something wrong with her?” he said. “She said I jumped from a car and I started strangling … a Secret Service agent who I know very well? I grabbed the steering wheel of a car, said I wanted guns at my rally. I didn’t want guns. I have to speak too, and I don’t want guns for anybody.”