“I never see this president being able to do that. Ever.’

  • A former White House aide said Trump grabbed the wheel of his SUV and an agent on Jan. 6.

  • Former Secret Service agents questioned the account in interviews with Insider.

  • One said Trump’s “circumference would prevent him from actually getting to the wheel”.

Then-President Donald Trump would have had to squeeze through an “extremely cramped” space to grab the wheel of an SUV and go to a Secret Service agent such as former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Tuesday testified.

It wouldn’t be impossible, a former Secret Service agent said, but it would be unlikely that the six-foot-tall, almost 250 pounds Trump, who according to the agent is “not the most agile person”, could take the step.

“Trump isn’t a little boy, is he? And the space to actually jump to the wheel isn’t that big,” the former agent said, speaking to Insider in the background. “I don’t want to sound disdainful of the former president, but only his size would prevent him from actually getting behind the wheel.”

Hutchinson talks about the SUV incident was one of the most explosive allegations during an extraordinary day of testimony on Tuesday before the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack. Hutchinson said she was told the incident happened when Bobby Engel — the special agent responsible for Trump’s security — prevented Trump from joining his supporters at the Capitol. She shared a description of the incident, which she said was passed on to her shortly afterwards by Tony Ornato, then White House deputy chief of staff for operations, and that Engel was in the room.

“The president reached out to the front of the vehicle to grab the steering wheel,” she said during her testimony. Angel grabbed his arm and said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the 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 at Bobby Engel,” said Hutchinson, adding that Ornato “gestured his collarbones” as he told the story.

Angel previously said to the committee over a disagreement over Trump’s desire to go to the Capitol and return to the White House instead, Politico reported last month. But CBS News and NBC News have reported that Secret Service agents are willing to testify that Trump was not trying to take over the SUV or lunging at them.

“We have and will continue to make every Secret Service member available to the committee,” Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesperson, told Insider.

Former Secret Service agents questioned the account in interviews with Insider.

“There’s just too much gray area to bet the farm on,” said Bill Pickle, a former Deputy Assistant Director of the Secret Service. “Am I saying it didn’t happen? I’m not going to say that because we all know this guy can be quite emotional.”

The fully armored SUV is not like a typical Suburban. There are safety features separating the front and back seats and the rear seats that make space “extremely cramped,” said the former officer speaking in the background.

“You have to be a bit of a contortionist to get from the back cabin to the front cabin, and the president is not a contortionist,” he added.

Officers are trained to move quickly from the front to the back seat in a medical situation. “It’s ridiculous. I mean, it’s not a pretty sight,” the former agent said, adding that it’s “hard to believe” that the president would do that.

“It’s not impossible, is it?” the former officer said with a laugh. “I just don’t see this president ever being able to do that. Ever.’

Read the original article Business Insider

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