A top White House aide testified before Congress on Tuesday that an irate President Donald Trump created a mess of shattered dishes and splattered ketchup in the West Wing after then-Attorney General Bill Barr told the press there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election Trump lost.
The shocking account came from Cassidy Hutchinson, the top assistant to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, during her testimony before the House committee investigating Trump’s attempt to thwart democracy.
In a December 2020 meltdown that Hutchinson said she could hear from down the hall, Trump apparently picked up his lunch and flung it across the room after learning that Barr had contradicted his election fraud claims in an interview with The Associated Press.
I remember hearing noise coming from down the hallway, so I poked my head out of the office and I saw the valet walking towards our office. He had said, “Get the chief down to the dining room; the president wants him.” So Mark [Meadows] went down to the dining room [and] came back to the office a few minutes later.
After Mark had returned, I left the office and went down to the dining room, and I noticed that the door was propped open and the valet was inside the dining room changing the tablecloth off of the dining room table. He motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantel on the TV, where I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall, and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor.
The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general’s AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing them to have to clean up, so I grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off of the wall to help the valet out. And he said something to the effect of, “He’s really ticked off about this, so I would stay clear of him for right now. He’s really, really ticked off about this right now.”
Hutchinson added that Trump had angrily flung food and dishes on multiple other occasions and that he sometimes lifted the entire tablecloth to spread his mess.
“There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents at the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere,” she said.
Trump’s hot temper was evident on his social media and widely reported on throughout his presidency, but Hutchinson’s testimony offers new insight into the levels of rage he reached when he lost the election to Joe Biden.
Hutchinson also testified Tuesday that she’d heard that Trump had gotten into a physical altercation on Jan. 6, 2021, attempting to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limo to turn his motorcade around and go to the U.S. Capitol.
“The president said something to the effect of, I’m the f-ing president, take me up to the Capitol now. To which [Secret Service agent Bobby Engel] responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing,’” Hutchison said.
Engel grabbed Trump’s arm after he reached up to the steering wheel, according to Hutchinson. She added that Trump then “used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel.”