Two former Trump White House officials have questioned the credibility of Tony Ornato, the Secret Service official who this week denied that then-President Donald Trump physically ran into an agent or attempted to grab the steering wheel of the presidential car during a term. The confrontation took place on January 6.
Ornato, currently the assistant director of the Secret Service’s Office of Training, became politically significant this week after a former aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows testified before the Jan. 6 panel that an agent told her the day of the attack on Congress about the standoff. He apparently broke out in an SUV transporting Trump after the president was angered by his agents’ refusal to take him to the Capitol, as thousands of his supporters soon rioted and stormed the building.
Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the panel on Tuesday that Ornato described the situation to her moments after it happened: After Trump was enraged, he supposedly tried to grab the steering wheel and “pushed” at agent Robert Engel. Ms. Hutchinson told the commission, describing Mr. Ornato’s retelling of the story, that Mr. Ornato had gestured that Mr. Trump had gone to the client’s neck.
But in the hours after her testimony, a US Secret Service spokesperson told news outlets that the car driver and Mr. Engel were prepared to testify before the panel that the president had not physically pushed them or tried to grab the wheel. However, the agency did not dispute other details about the altercation including the accusation demanded by Mr Trump: “I’m the impulsive president, take me to the Capitol now.”
independent He contacted the US Secret Service to determine if Mr. Ornato would also testify.
On Wednesday, two former senior White House officials added their voices to the chorus supporting Ms. Hutchinson’s account of events. Vice Chair of the Select Committee, Liz Cheney, also emphasized Ms. Hutchinson’s credibility.
Olivia Troy, a former adviser to Vice President Mike Pence on homeland security issues, tweeted that her former colleague Mr Ornato “appears to deny conversations he apparently had” with other Trump White House officials.
“Those who worked from us [with] She added that Tony knows where his loyalties lie. “He should testify under oath.”
“Tony Ornato lied about me, too,” Alyssa Farah, the former White House communications director, added frankly.
“During the protests in Lafayette Square in 2020, I told Mark Meadows and Ornato that they needed to warn the press that had been organized there before evacuating the plaza. We don’t,” Meadows replied. Tony later lied and said the exchange never happened. He knows that That has happened,” she tweeted.
independent I also contacted the Secret Service about Mrs. Farah’s prescriptions and narrates his credibility.
Their tweets, posted within minutes of each other, lend at least some credibility to reporting The Washington Post Carol Leonig, who described Ornato as a Trump loyalist and “yes man” in the White House.
This is the person who served as the chief security detail for President Trump, the first man to protect his president. And his boss liked him so much, he appointed him to a political post in the White House. That broke all the Secret Service traditions in the book, because he stayed as a Secret Service employee, but Trump basically had him direct the Secret Service to make sure all of her campaign events, all of his filming, and everything he wanted to do to get reelected went without any Impediments,” she told MSNBC morning atmosphere Thursday.
“Tony Ornato said a lot of things didn’t happen…He tried to tell the press and indirectly that the evacuation of Lafayette Square was not done in order to take a picture of President Trump. Well, that’s not true. Ms. Leonig went on.
“The Secret Service often tries to deny things that are undesirable, and then when the rubber hits the road, we learn there’s more to it.”