Trump says it would be very difficult to put hands on a Secret Service agent 'because these guys lift 350 pounds, I don't'

·4 min read
  • Trump continued to dispute testimony that he tried to commandeer a vehicle on January 6.

  • The former president also said it would have been difficult for him to try to choke a Secret Service officer.

  • "These guys lift 350 pounds. I don't," Trump said.

Former President Donald Trump said that it would have been difficult for him to commandeer the vehicle he was riding in on January 6 from his Secret Service detail because the agents are stronger than he is.

"Who would do that? I would grab a Secret Service person by the throat?" Trump told NewsMax. "It's very hard for another reason. These guys lift 350 pounds. I don't."

He added, "These are great people they have devoted their lives to and I think they were very embarrassed by it because I think it makes them sound terrible.

Trump has spent the days after Tuesday's surprise hearing teeing off on former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. He has taken particular issue with Hutchinson testifying that she was told that an enraged Trump on January 6 tried to hijack a presidential SUV from his detail in a last-ditch effort to go to the Capitol. He has also criticized other parts of Hutchinson's testimony.

During the interview with Newsmax, Trump reiterated his attacks on Hutchinson, suggesting she is living in a "fantasy land" and baselessly speculating that "something is wrong with her."

Video: Former Secret Service agent outlines inauguration protocol

Publicly, the Secret Service has said that House January 6 committee did not reach out to them before Hutchinson's stunning testimony. Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesman, told Politico that the agency "will continue to make any member of the Secret Service available." Unnamed sources have told multiple media outlets that agents would dispute Hutchinson's testimony that Trump tried to grab the wheel of the vehicle he was in and also grabbed at the neck of a Secret Service agent.

Hutchinson told the committee that Tony Ornato, the White House deputy chief of staff, recounted to her that the then-president became enraged when the Secret Service informed him that they would not take him to the Capitol on January 6. Congress was meeting to certify Trump's election loss.

"As the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought that they were going up to the Capitol," Hutchinson testified. "And when Bobby had relayed to him that we're not; we don't have the assets to do it; it's not secure; we're going back to the West Wing, the president had a very strong, very angry response to that."

According to Hutchinson's account, a struggle then ensued with one of the agents, Bobby Engel.

"The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, 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," Hutchinson said, adding that when Ornato "recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles."

Trump's implication that a Secret Service agent's fitness would make it hard to threaten them dovetails with other questions former agents have raised. One unnamed former agent previously told Insider that Trump's "girth" would have made it extremely difficult to slide through the limited space in the SUV to be near the steering wheel.

"Trump's not a little guy, right? And the space to actually be able to lunge towards the wheel is not that big," the former agent said, speaking on background to Insider. "I don't mean to sound disparaging to the former president, but just his girth would prevent him from actually getting to the steering wheel."

Hutchinson's legal team has said that she stands by her testimony. They have also pointed out that she testified under oath.

"Ms. Hutchinson testified, under oath, and recounted what she was told," Jody Hunt, Hutchinson's attorney, wrote on Twitter. "Those with knowledge of the episode also should testify under oath."

Read the original article on Business Insider