American media says, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson seems to have rang the death knell for former President Donald Trump’s political career, while conservative newspaper the Washington Examiner said “Trump is unfit to be anywhere near power ever again”.
According to the Washington Examiner editorial, Hutchinson’s resume alone should establish her credibility. The 25-year-old had already worked at the highest levels of conservative Republican politics, including in the offices of Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (LA), before becoming a top aide for former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.
It said: In short, Hutchinson was a conservative Trumpist true believer and a tremendously credible one at that. She did not overstate things, did not seem to be seeking attention, and was very precise about how and why she knew what she related and about which testimony was firsthand and which was secondhand but able to be corroborated.
What Hutchinson relayed was disturbing. She gave believable accounts of White House awareness that the planned January 6 rally could turn violent. She repeated testimony that Trump not only knew that then-Vice President Mike Pence’s life had been credibly threatened that day but also that he was somewhere between uncaring and actually approving of Pence’s danger.
She also told, in detail, that Trump repeatedly insisted that he himself should join his supporters at the Capitol — even after being informed the crowd contained armed elements and that it was breaching the perimeter against an undermanned US Capitol Police force.
Also distressing to hear were Hutchinson’s accounts of Trump’s repeated fits of rage, including dining table contents overturned and ketchup dishes thrown violently across the room. The worst by far, though, was that people immediately returning from being with Trump in the presidential vehicle told of the president trying to grab the wheel of the car to force it to be driven to the Capitol and then violently reaching for the neck of Secret Service agent Bobby Engel, who headed the president’s protective detail.
Hutchinson’s testimony confirmed a damning portrayal of Trump as unstable, unmoored, and absolutely heedless of his sworn duty to effectuate a peaceful transition of presidential power. Considering the entirety of her testimony, it is unsurprising that Hutchinson said she heard serious discussions of Cabinet members invoking the 25th Amendment that would have at least temporarily evicted Trump from office.
Trump is a disgrace. Republicans have far better options to lead the party in 2024. No one should think otherwise, much less support him, ever again.
Meanwhile, the National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy published a column analyzing Hutchinson’s testimony, writing that “things will not be the same after this”.
“And Trump, who had tweeted that his supporters should come for a ‘wild’ time in Washington, manifestly knew things might get real, real bad”, McCarthy wrote. “Instead of trying to stop it, he willfully exacerbated the problem — and would apparently have made it worse still if the Secret Service had not been courageously insubordinate”.
Hutchinson had detailed under oath how Trump raged at his “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6 that security was confiscating weapons, telling staff that his supporters were “not here to hurt me”.
She said he insisted on marching with protestors to the Capitol and that she was told by security staff that Trump had an altercation with a Secret Service driver who refused to take him there.
Hutchinson’s testimony was the first time a Trump staff member privy to his inner circle’s deliberations publicly tied him to the attack.
In another opinion piece published Wednesday, the Washington Examiner’s senior columnist Timothy P. Carney wrote that Trump’s insistence on allowing armed supporters to attend his rally demonstrated “how unfit former President Donald Trump is for office”.
“A good shepherd, upon learning that his flock had arrived armed, would have tried to defuse the situation”, Carney wrote. “For starters, he would have cared for his followers’ safety”.
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