Since the day after Hutchinson’s testimony, CNN has been reporting that Ornato denied telling Hutchinson that Trump assaulted his Secret Service staff. However, that CNN report reportedly comes from “[a] Secret Service official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
The statements from CNN were part of a wave of immediate right-wing pushback that defended Trump and attempted to vilify Hutchinson, but exactly zero of those people seemed willing to step forward and swear to their statements. In fact, none of them were willing to make their allegations publicly, much less before the House committee or a grand jury. As Joan McCarter pointed out in response, anonymous sources speaking off the record do not equal the testimony of public officials speaking under oath.
If anything, CBS News misrepresents the story more than CNN, saying that “the U.S. Secret Service pushed back on Hutchinson's account, signaling that both Ornato and Engel would be willing to testify in response,” but again all of that came from anonymous sources. There has been no official statement from the Secret Service, and none of those involved—not Ornato, not Bobby Engel, not the sources who “pushed back”—have appeared before the committee to dispute a word of what Hutchinson said.
Ornato did speak with members of the House committee twice, but the last time was in March, months before Hutchinson’s testimony revealed Ornato’s statements on Trump’s actions. Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren has stated that the committee wants to hear from Ornato on this topic, but Ornato’s response seems to have been to “acquire private counsel.” No matter what CNN or CBS says, he has not voluntarily come to the committee to testify on this matter.
Ornato claims that now that he is leaving the Secret Service, he is not going back to work for Trump. However, he has refused to name his new employer.
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