A retired Washington, DC, police officer who was part of Donald Trump’s motorcade on January 6, 2021, told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday night that the then-President was adamant about going to the US Capitol as the riot unfolded.
The comments by Mark Robinson, who has testified to the January 6 committee, further corroborate key details first revealed by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who spoke at length about Trump’s behavior to the House select committee. Hutchinson said that she was told that Trump became “irate” when informed by security that he would not be going to the Capitol on January 6, because the situation was not secure.
Robinson was not physically with Trump on January 6. He was in the lead car of the motorcade and said that he learned Trump wanted to go to the Capitol through communications from the Secret Service.
“We’ve heard it several times while it was on the motorcade. I think during the speech, shortly thereafter, he had finished the speech, that the President was getting into the motorcade and he was upset. And he adamantly wanted to go to the Capitol,” Robinson told Lemon. “And even when we departed from the Ellipse it was repeated again. … It was a heated argument in the limo. And he wanted to definitely go to the Capitol.”
In his first interview since testifying, Robinson said he wasn’t aware of the magnitude of the riot when Trump demanded to go to the Capitol. Speaking in hindsight, Robinson said, “Now knowing what actually happened, that would’ve been horrible. Had the motorcade responded to the Capitol, I think, would’ve just been far worse.”
“I think it would have probably encouraged more rioting. And (the rioters would have) felt supported. If the presidential motorcade came in support of them. So I think the insurrectionists probably would have felt as though they had the support of the President,” Robinson said.
When questioned as to the former President’s possible motives for wanting to return to the Capitol on January 6, Robinson said, “I can’t imagine anyone, especially in that position, wanting to go to the Capitol. You talk about the president. I just can’t imagine someone wanting to go to the Capitol under those conditions.”
Robinson said he is “so thankful” that the motorcade did not turn around. “Had we made that move, I thought it would have been an insane movement and I think the sentiment was felt even with the Secret Service.”