June 29, 2022

Last night, online media lit up with credulous reporters quoting a unnamed source "close to the Secret Service" claiming Cassidy Hutchinson's second-hand story about Trump lunging at a Secret Service agent was wrong. (Could the source be John Barron, perhaps?)

That's right. Until they testify under oath, this is a non-story.

But let's talk about Tony Ornato, one of the people Hutchinson quotes in her testimony -- who is now telling reporters it never happened. Here's a little background from an interview with Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig when she was plugging her book, "Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service" :

At the president's request, at President Trump's request, he liked his detail leader so much, Tony Ornato, that he asked him to be almost temporarily assigned on a detail as the deputy White House chief of staff. In that role, the deputy chief of staff and former Secret Service leader was key in clearing the Lafayette Park outside the White House for the June 1 march that the president had to show how tough he was and that he was a law and order president prevailing over the protesters of George Floyd's murder.

"He -- that same deputy White House chief of staff was critical in planning the president's rallies as covid spiked. And that ultimately led to 300 Secret Service officers and agents that summer either contracting covid or being exposed to covid so they had to quarantine away from their coworkers. It was sort of an amazing thing. It infuriated so many Secret Service alumni because this is an agency that prides itself on objectivity, political independence.

"As they say in the agency, you know, the people elect them, we just protect them. But in this instance, you had a Secret Service leader working as a political entity and arm of President Trump," Leonnig said.

She described many of the agents going full MAGA under Trump, swallowing whole his conspiracy theories about the election being stolen. They loved Trump so much, she said many agents wore red ties on Election Day to show their support for Trump.

So the story about Cassidy Hutchinson -- the ONLY part of her testimony Trumpworld is trying to rebut -- is being denied by a MAGAt Secret Service agent who's very close to Trump. Hmm.

And the fact that the Secret Service has a known drinking problem -- well, that may or may not be part of this story. Who knows?

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