A former officer who was part of Donald Trump’s motorcade on Jan. 6, 2021, said Monday that Trump was “upset” at not being allowed to join his supporters attacking the Capitol.
Mark Robinson, a now retired D.C. police officer who was in the front car of Trump’s convoy on Jan. 6, told CNN that Trump was desperate to visit the Capitol grounds following his speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse.
“We’ve heard it several times while it was on the motorcade,” said Robinson, who is also a witness in the House Jan. 6 committee’s probe. “I think during the speech, shortly thereafter, he had finished the speech, that the president was getting into the motorcade and he was upset. And he adamantly wanted to go to the Capitol.”
He continued: “And even when we departed from the Ellipse, it was repeated again. ... It was a heated argument in the limo. And he wanted to definitely go to the Capitol.”
Robinson’s comments appear to be consistent with White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony that Trump got into a physical altercation with his Secret Service detail on Jan. 6, and tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine in the hope of driving to the Capitol.
“The president reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson told the panel. “[Secret Service agent Bobby] Engel grabbed his arm and 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.’”
Hutchinson said the story was recounted to her by the former White House operations chief Anthony Ornato.
While unnamed Secret Service officials had previously said Ornato, Engel and the unnamed driver of the presidential limo would testify under oath that Hutchinson’s account was inaccurate, they have so far not done so. All three have also hired private lawyers.
“Some of the officers said that they would be coming and talking under oath,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a Jan. 6 committee member, told reporters, according to Salon. “They have not come in, and they recently retained private counsel, which is unusual but they have a right to do that.”
Robinson said he now feels relieved the Secret Service did not grant the president’s wish to drive to the Capitol, adding that Trump’s presence would have further motivated the insurrectionists.
“I think it would have probably encouraged more rioting. And [the rioters would have] felt supported,” Robinson told CNN. “If the presidential motorcade came in support of them ... I think the insurrectionists probably would have felt as though they had the support of the president.”