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Former President Donald Trump Holds 'Save America' Rally
Former President Donald Trump gestures during a 'rally in Greensburg, Penn., on May 6, 2022.Justin Merriman / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Analysis: Trump’s years of violent rhetoric align with Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony

A White House aide's damning testimony dovetails with years of public flirtations with violence.


Donald Trump was an unusual candidate in 2016, but there was one trait that truly separated him from the pack: An obsessive focus on violence. And not just any violence, but violence outside the confines of the law.

On Tuesday, a surprise witness, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, painted a picture of a president whose longtime violent revenge fantasies became fully realized on January 6th, on both a personal and political level.

She said Trump was not only aware supporters were carrying weapons at the rally, but angrily demanded they be allowed to enter his event without being searched and said that “they can march to the Capitol from here.”

She recounted hearing that an enraged Trump had tried to grab the steering wheel from, and possibly lunged at the “clavicle” of a Secret Service agent in order to join supporters at the Capitol.

She recalled hearing White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows relay that Trump agreed with rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” as they tried to overturn the election results by any means necessary.

She described Trump as personally violent and unhinged on multiple occasions, throwing dishes when angry.

Trump denied these incidents in a series of statements. But lending credibility to her testimony, almost everything she described had an obvious corresponding moment in Trump’s career.

Among other examples:

This was a dark place that Trump alone was willing to go among his political rivals when he first emerged as a candidate. Even his most conservative opponents condemned his rhetoric and warned it could lead to real-world violence, though many later dropped their concerns and became prominent supporters.

Hutchinson’s testimony would suggest they had it right the first time. These violent delights have violent ends.