Pro-Trump web turns to misinformation to counter January 6 testimony

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Supporters of former President Donald Trump online sought to undermine stunning testimony Tuesday before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising, seeking to downplay Cassidy Hutchinson’s claims that told her that Trump had jumped behind the wheel of his vehicle and tried to strangle a member of his security detail when they refused to take him to the Capitol as rioters besieged the building.

In sworn testimony, Hutchinson said he heard about the physical altercation from Tony Ornato, a Secret Service agent who served as the White House’s deputy chief of staff for operations. She said he told the story in front of Bobby Engel, the head of Trump’s security service, who Trump allegedly threw himself at during the altercation. Neither of the two men testified.

“I’m the f-ing president,” she said. Ornato quoted the president shouting as they drove him to the White House and away from the Capitol.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified June 28 that former President Donald Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent on January 6. (Video: Reuters)

physically impossible” for Trump to move from the back cabin to the driver’s seat.

But Trump wasn’t riding in the limo that day; videos show he actually rode in a Secret Service SUV, where the seats are closer together.

Even if he had ridden in the Beast, the back and front seats have glass that the president can roll down whenever he wants — a detail noted even in the same infographic that Trump supporters shared as evidence that Trump’s story Hutchinson couldn’t be right.

Trump rushed the steering wheel, a Secret Service agent in a bid to reach the Capitol, former aide testifies

Trump made the same argument about Truth Social, the Twitter clone created by his allies after he was banned from Twitter following the Jan. 6 attack. “His fake story…is ‘sick’ and fraudulent,” he wrote, adding that it “wouldn’t even have been possible to do such a ridiculous thing.”

But two Secret Service agents who worked in the Beast told the Washington Post that such a decision by the president might have been difficult, given the limo’s interior equipment, but not impossible.

The quibbles followed an aggressive campaign before testimony from pro-Trump commentators on social media, blogs and message boards seeking to paint Hutchinson, an aide to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, as an unwarranted attention seeker. pertinent.

All the bombshells Cassidy Hutchinson dropped on Trump and January 6

The pro-Trump Gateway Pundit blog called Hutchinson “another con man…using Tuesday’s tryouts to audition for a spot on CNN or MSNBC.” Conservative media brand John Cardillo tweeted that she was “a glorified receptionist and coffee seeker in the Meadows office… relaying boring office gossip, acting like she has more access and input than she does. never did.”

But as she recounted jaw-dropping details on Tuesday, including inside-room accounts and never-before-seen accounts of Trump and Meadows’ actions before and during the insurgency, Trump’s defenders tried a different approach, saying she doesn’t It was just a rumor – though much of his testimony was backed up by written notes and text messages, and it was all done under oath.

More than 4,000 accounts liked a tweet from a pro-Trump Twitter account calling him “Amber Heard 2.0” – a reference to the actor who recently lost a defamation lawsuit brought by ex-husband Johnny Depp. On Tuesday night, the phrase “Amber Heard 2.0” was trending on Twitter.

Trump supporters, including Donald Trump Jr., also widely echoed a right-wing meme suggesting Hutchinson was like Jussie Smollett, the actor who falsely reported to police that he had been attacked by men shouting “It’s MAGA Country”.

How the January 6 hearing went on the pro-Trump web

On the pro-Trump message board patriots.win, a poster read, “She looks like a child talking.” Some patriots.win posters said the testimony showed how unfairly Trump had been treated. A poster said the story showed the Secret Service’s ‘Deep State plotters’ had ‘effectively kidnapped the President of the United States of America against his will’ in a ‘complex coup’ military-industrial of the CIA”.

Some there argued she should be ‘locked up for lying under oath’, while another poster suggested her savage testimony was just Washington, as usual.

“Even if she’s telling the truth,” said the anonymous patriots.win poster, “where’s the fucking problem?”

Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.

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