Cheney: Hutchinson’s testimony showed young women ‘what it really means to be a patriot’

·3 min read

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday said the testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson before the Jan. 6 select committee showed young women “what it really means to be a patriot.”

The comment came during Cheney’s speech at the Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday, one day after the Jan. 6 panel held a surprise hearing with Hutchinson, a former special assistant to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Among the most stunning revelations she made was that then-President Trump knew the crowd at his Ellipse speech had weapons, but did not care because they were “not here to hurt me.”

Cheney on Wednesday said she has been “incredibly moved” by the young women who have come before the committee, including Hutchinson.

“Some of these are young women who worked on the Trump campaign, some worked in the Trump White House, some who worked in offices on Capitol Hill, all who knew immediately that what happened that day must never happen again. America had the chance to meet one of these young women yesterday, Ms. Cassidy Hutchinson,” Cheney said.

“Her superiors – men many years older – a number of them are hiding behind executive privilege, anonymity and intimidation. But her bravery and patriotism yesterday were awesome to behold,” she continued. “Little girls all across this great nation are seeing what it really means to love this country and what it really means to be a patriot.”

Hutchinson, now 26, appeared before the Jan. 6 select committee on Tuesday and delivered gripping, first-hand testimony regarding what occurred in the Trump White House before, during and after the Capitol riot.

Hutchinson’s public appearance before the panel came after she spoke with committee investigators four times behind closed doors.

Her testimony, however, has since come under scrutiny — particularly one second-hand account she delivered about a ride Trump took in his presidential vehicle following his speech at the Ellipse.

Hutchinson told the committee that Trump, angry that he was not permitted to go to the Capitol with his supporters, lunged for the steering wheel of his presidential SUV.

The ex-aide said she first heard about the incident from White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato and Robert Engel, head of the president’s security detail who was in the vehicle at the time of the episode.

Hutchinson said Ornato told the story while Engel was in the room, and that the head of Trump’s security detail did not refute the account.

Some, however, are now pushing back on the story, claiming that the incident relayed by Hutchinson did not happen.

Trump said he did not lunge at the Secret Service, telling Newsmax in an interview, “Who would do that? I would grab a Secret Service person by the throat?”

According to NBC News, a source close to Ornato said the former deputy chief of staff first learned about the vehicle incident during Tuesday’s hearing. Additionally, CBS News reported that Engel and the driver of the SUV are willing to testify that the president did not physically attack or assault them, and are prepared to say that Trump did not lunge at the steering wheel.

Cheney, however, is standing by Hutchinson, telling ABC News in an interview that she is “absolutely confident” in the ex-aide’s credibility.

“I’m confident in her testimony,” Cheney said. “I think that what Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure.”

During her remarks at the Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday, Cheney spoke directly to young women, saying “the power is yours and so is the responsibility.”

“In our great nation, one individual can make all the difference, and each individual must try. There are no bystanders in a Constitutional Republic,” she said.

“And let me also say this to the little girls and to the young women who are watching tonight: these days, for the most part, men are running the world, and it’s really not going all that well,” she added.

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