Twitter users believe they’ve found footage of Donald Trump allegedly trying to grab the steering wheel in the presidential SUV after his speech at the Ellipse on January 6 2021 that preceded the attack on Congress by his supporters.
The alleged altercation took place when Mr Trump’s security detail refused to take him to the Capitol.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified to the House Select Committee investigating January 6 during a hearing on Tuesday that Mr Trump still thought he was going to the Capitol when he left his rally that day.
Ms Hutchinson told the panel that she had been told Mr Trump cursed at his Secret Service agents after he was told that he was going back to the White House instead of to the Capitol. The former top aide also shared that she was told Mr Trump had physically attacked Robert Engel, the leader of Mr Trump’s security team.
She said she was later told that Mr Trump had also attempted to grab the steering wheel.
“The president had a very strong, very angry response to that,” Ms Hutchinson said on Tuesday.
She added that then-White House Deputy Chief of Staff “Tony [Ornato] described him as being irate. The president said something to the effect of, “I’m the f***ing president! Take me up to the Capitol now”.
“To which Bobby responded, ‘Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing’,” Ms Hutchinson said.
“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’,” she added.
“Mr Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles,” she said.
Since her testimony, Mr Trump and his allies have said that several sources claim that that version of events will be contradicted to an extent when Mr Engel and Mr Ornato testify under oath -- as reports have suggested.
Filmmaker Jack Bryan tweeted an image on Thursday afternoon that he said showed Mr Trump reaching for the steering wheel.
“It looks like he might have grabbed the wheel to keep them from leaving which makes more sense than him grabbing it to drive them off the road,” Mr Bryan added. “At the very least Trump is moving his hand over the driver’s shoulder. Not sure why else he would be doing that.”
Several people, including former Republican strategist Rick Wilson, compared the footage to that of Abraham Zapruder, who captured the assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963 while filming a home movie.
Republican strategist Liz Mair tweeted: “Someone’s going to have to produce better images [than] this, it just looks like a bunch of blobs to me.”
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