Large car fight movie scenes recall Trump’s attack on Officer Bobby Engel on January 6
Ann Arbor (informed comment) – Cassidy Hutchinson said Tuesday that Trump became violent in the presidential limo, nicknamed the Beast, towards a member of his Secret Service. Trump had orchestrated the attack on the Capitol by the white nationalist militias Oath Keeper and Proud Boys and promised them that he would lead them into the building to overthrow the US government by preventing the certification of Joe Biden’s victory as president. Trump repeated that promise to accompany the rioters to Capitol Hill in his Jan. 6 speech.
His Secret Service detail, including agent Bobby Engel, advised Trump that it was too dangerous for him to join the crowd, but Trump doesn’t appear to have taken the advice. He was persuaded to get into the presidential limo, but was under the impression that he would simply be driven through the mall to the steps of the Capitol.
Dan Mangan at CNBC quotes Hutchinson’s testimony of what Tony Ornato, another Trump aide, who was also present in the limo, told him:
- “So once the president got in the vehicle with Bobby, he thought they were going up to the Capitol, and when Bobby relayed to him, we ain’t you don’t have the credentials to do it,” said Hutchison. , whose testimony was based on what she learned shortly afterwards at the White House from another aide, Tony Ornato.
Engel told Trump: “It’s not secure. We’re going back to the West Wing,” Hutchinson said.
“The president had a very strong and very angry response to that. Tony described him as furious,” she testified.
Trump said something like, “I’m President Effing, take me to the Capitol now,” she testified.
When Engel then refused again, Trump “reached out to the front of the vehicle to grab the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, “Sir, you need to take your hand off the wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing,” Hutchinson said, citing Ornato’s account.
Trump “then used his free hand to lunge at Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson testified.
When Onato told her that, he waved his hands to her collarbone, she said.
This physical argument in the “Beast” feels cinematic to me, with the President attempting to grab the driver’s wheel, being pushed away by his own Secret Service protector, and then trying to strangle the agent with his bare hands.
I tried to remember scenes from movies with such struggles in a car, disregarding Harrison Ford in Air Force One, which was in the air. What I found is disturbing and not for the faint-hearted, but neither is the Trump presidency or, indeed, today’s Republican Party in general.
Unlike Deadpool, Trump didn’t attempt to stick a lighter down Engel’s throat in the classic inside-car fight in Marvel’s most violent movie, but he seemed in the mood to do that kind of thing. thing :
Thankfully, Trump doesn’t seem to have been armed, even though his party seems to think Quentin Tarantino’s film pulp Fiction is the best guide to how we should live as Americans. This movie also has a famous car scene in which chaos occurs, though it’s both more innocent and more tragic than Trump’s fight with Engel:
1980 by Clint Eastwood any way you can features fighter Philo Beddoe, who has a pet orangutan named Clyde, who punches people every time he hears the phrase “Turn right, Clyde”. Clyde, unlike his orange cousin who was briefly in the White House, is the good guy rather than the bad guy. But an orange primate fighting in a car is too strong a parallel to omit here:
Then there was the classic scene at the Coen brothers The great Lebowski where Jeffrey “the Dude” Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges, complains to a taxi driver about playing “The Eagles” in the taxi. The driver, like Trump, grew furious at the criticism. You know what happened next. Alas, Engel didn’t kick Trump out of the presidential limo, but somehow the American people had already done that:
But perhaps the best contrast and comparison to Trump’s horrific attack on Engel and his driver is with Marlon Brando in At the water’s edge, where the violence is only psychic. I think Trump is Rod Steiger’s character, Charley “le Gent” Malloy, who has his brother, Brando’s Terry Malloy, diving into a prize fight. Brando complains in the car as the two argue that if only Malloy had backed him up in a straight way he “could have been a contender”. I think Engel and most Trump employees might have expected to be honestly supported by the administration, not dragged into a fixed, bogus attempt to fix the political race. So think of Engel as Brando, talking to his brother, Trump. “It was you!”
H/t to Nick Schager at Esquire.