Following former White House assistant Cassidy Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony regarding the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, Anthony Ornato came to public attention earlier this summer. Ornato, who most recently held the position of USSS assistant director, resigned from his position on Monday after a decades-long career with the Secret Service, which included a time working with former President Donald Trump.
“I did retire today to pursue a career in the private sector. I retired from the U.S. Secret Service after more than 25 years of faithful service to my country, including serving the past five presidents. I long-planned to retire and have been planning this transition for more than a year,” Ornato said in a statement.
He declined to share the name of his new employer but denied that he had taken a role with Trump or any of his companies, CNN said. “We can confirm that Anthony Ornato retired from the U.S. Secret Service Monday in good standing after 25 years of devoted service,” USSS special agent Kevin Helgert said.
The announcement comes just a few months after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified in front of the Jan. 6 House committee about Trump’s behavior that day, which she said was in part relayed to her by Ornato. Ornato, who was serving as the deputy chief of staff at the time, allegedly explained to Hutchinson how, when Trump got into a presidential vehicle following his speech the morning of the 6th, “he was under the impression that he could still go to the Capitol.”
“When Trump’s head of Secret Service Robert Engel relayed, ‘We are not … it’s not secure,’ the president had a very strong, very angry response to that … Tony described him as being irate,” she testified. According to Hutchinson’s testimony, Engel said that Trump yelled, “I’m the f—— president, take me up to the Capitol now,” to which Engel responded, “Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing.”
“The president then reached up to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson said, recalling what she was told. CBS News reported that following Hutchinson’s explosive account, the Secret Service indicated that both Ornato and Engel would be willing to counter her testimony on the record — but since the agency made that claim, neither man has appeared before the select committee, according to three CBS News sources that were briefed on the situation.
Ornato first began working as a special agent in 1997 and served in the presidential protective division during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Forbes noted that Ornato’s departure from the Secret Service for his stint as deputy chief of staff for Trump was “unusual.”
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