Trump’s Driver On J6 Disputes Infamous Claim POTUS Tried To Grab Steering Wheel To Go To Capitol: REPORT

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Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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Former President Donald Trump’s driver disputed the infamous claim that the former president tried to grab the steering wheel from him on Jan. 6, 2021, and go to the U.S. Capitol, according to a transcript obtained by The New York Times (NYT).

Following his speech on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump reportedly entered his armored vehicle and began discussing how big the crowd was at his address. Trump then said that he wanted to go to the U.S. Capitol, the president’s driver said in an interview with House lawmakers, according to The NYT. Trump’s lead Secret Service agent Robert Engel told the president that such a move was not possible because they did not have the plans to do so, the driver told The NYT. At no point did Trump yell at the driver to go to the Capitol nor did he lunge for the steering wheel, the driver reportedly testified.

“The president was insistent on going to the Capitol,” the driver said in the transcript, according to The NYT. “It was clear to me he wanted to go to the Capitol. He was not screaming at Mr. Engel. 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 driver’s testimony contradicts that of Cassidy Hutchinson’s, a former White House aid to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows. Hutchinson previously testified that she had heard that the former president had reached for the steering wheel the day of the Capitol riot. Hutchinson told House investigators that Trump had ordered his deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato and Engel to take him to the Capitol before then reaching for the steering wheel from the backseat and grabbing Engel by the clavicle. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Text Messages Show Cassidy Hutchinson Referring To January 6 Committee As ‘BS’)

“I did not see him reach,” the driver told investigators, The NYT reported. “He never grabbed the steering wheel. I didn’t see him, you know, lunge to try to get into the front seat at all. You know, what stood out was the irritation in his voice, more than his physical presence.”

The Jan. 6 committee noted in their final report that Engel did not characterize his account of the day the same way Hutchinson spoke about her’s.

“Engel did not characterize the exchange in the vehicle the way Hutchinson described the account she heard from Ornato, and indicated that he did not recall President Trump gesturing toward him,” the Jan. 6 committee’s report stated.

Following Hutchinson’s testimony, Trump denounced her account of the day.

“This lady yesterday, is there something wrong with her?” Trump told Newsmax’s John Bachman. “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.”

“The Secret Service came out and said this story is completely false. The woman is living in fantasy land,” Trump continued. “I think it’s just a shame that this is happening to our country.”

The Secret Service driver added that he did not remember seeing what Trump was doing and if there was any movement in the car, The NYT reported.

“It is difficult to fully reconcile the accounts of several of the witnesses who provided information with what we heard from Engel and Ornato,” the House committee report concluded. “But the principal factual point here is clear and undisputed: President Trump specifically and repeatedly requested to be taken to the Capitol. He was insistent and angry, and continued to push to travel to the Capitol even after returning to the White House.”