Former national security adviser John Bolton believes the man who was White House counsel on January 6, 2021, Pat Cipollone, should appear before the House select committee investigating thethat day. His comments come after former White House adviser Cassidy Hutchinson told the committee that Cipollone raised multiple concerns about former President Trump’s actions in the days before and after Jan. 6.
“Pat should testify,” Bolton told CBS News’ Catherine Herridge in an interview Friday.
Bolton said he was not surprised when he heard Hutchinson tell the committee that on the morning of Jan. 6, Cipollone said, “We will be charged with every conceivable crime” if Trump goes to Capitol Hill with his supporters.
“Like all of us who worked closely with the president for any length of time, you know you’re going to have a very negative reaction when the president didn’t hear what he wanted to hear,” Bolton told Herridge. “But I think Cipollone was fully capable of telling him, ‘You’re crossing the line.'”
Cipollone succeeded Don McGahn as White House counsel in 2018, while Bolton served as national security adviser to then-President Trump.
Although Bolton left the White House in November 2019, he is familiar not only with Cipollone, but also withthe White House aide who questions parts of the by Hutchison. Hutchinson worked for Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Hutchinsonthis week that after President Trump’s speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, she spoke with Ornato, who told her the president was “furious” in his vehicle when he was told he couldn’t go to the Capitol, where his supporters were marching.
He said something to the effect of “‘I’m the fucking president, take me to the Capitol now,'” Hutchinson recalled. He went on to say that Ornato told him that when Trump was told he would have to return to the White House, he reached to the front of the car to grab the steering wheel and then lunged at another person in the car.
According to a source close to the Secret Service, Ornato disputes the testimony that Trump grabbed the person’s arm, took the flyer and launched himself, but did not deny that the president demanded that he be taken to Capitol Hill.
Bolton recalls Ornato as “very professional” and said he “performed his duties in a partisan manner,” saying he believes the committee should hear Ornato’s testimony. Ornato has been interviewed by the House select committee behind closed doors, but not in public.
Although Bolton feels that Ornato should appear before the committee, he did not criticize Hutchinson. “She gave a very calm and consistent testimony,” Bolton said of her appearance.