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Who is anthony ornato secret service, tony salary net worth wikipedia

Jan. 6 Witness Anthony Ornato is in the middle of a fight about how credible he is.

Mr. Ornato, who was Donald Trump's deputy chief of staff for operations, is now a key figure in a fight over what the committee's star witness said on January 6.

Anthony M. Ornato quit his job as the Secret Service agent in charge of protecting President Donald J. Trump in late 2019. At the same time, the president's top advisers were scrambling to find a candidate to fill a key role: deputy White House chief of staff for operations. This was because Mr. Trump had created a culture of internal strife during his time in office.

The title doesn't fully reflect the importance of the job, which is to make sure that the government stays on track and to manage the logistics of the president's movements outside the White House, as well as security and the military office. Dan Walsh, who was leaving the job, and Lindsay Reynolds, who was the chief of staff for Melania Trump, the first lady, quickly decided on Mr. Ornato, whom Mr. Trump knew well, because they wanted to make sure it went to someone qualified.

Three former White House staffers say that Mr. Ornato did not want the job. At that point, he was working at the Secret Service headquarters and was happy there. Like many agents, he had worked for different parties in the past. He had first protected Barbara Bush, the daughter of President George W. Bush, and then worked on President Barack Obama's detail. And even if they didn't, it would be very unusual for someone from a government agency that says it has nothing to do with politics to take a high-level job in the White House.

Who is anthony ornato secret service, tony salary net worth wikipedia
Anthony Ornato, on the right, was offered the job of deputy White House chief of staff for operations by President Donald J. Trump himself.

But when Mr. Trump called to tell him he was getting the job, those officials say, he thought he had no choice but to take it. Mr. Ornato was at the center of the West Wing for the rest of Mr. Trump's presidency. He had an office just down the hall from the Oval Office and next to the office of Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and top adviser.

Now, Mr. Ornato is in the middle of a fight about what happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when there was a riot. He is both a witness to important events and a player in what is either a real battle over credibility or, in the eyes of some critics, an attempt to water down the devastating account of Mr. Trump and his aides' actions that another former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, gave to the House Jan. 6 committee this week.

In her public testimony, Ms. Hutchinson said that Mr. Ornato told her about a shocking scene in the back of the president's car on January 6, right after Mr. Trump finished speaking at the Ellipse outside the White House.

She said that Mr. Ornato told her that Mr. Trump tried to force the Secret Service to drive him to the Capitol so he could meet up with his supporters. Mr. Ornato said that when she told the story, Mr. Trump tried to grab the wheel of the armored car.

Ms. Hutchinson said that Mr. Ornato told her that the president "lunged" at Robert Engel, who was his top Secret Service agent. Ms. Hutchinson said that Mr. Engel was there when Mr. Ornato told her the story and that Mr. Engel did not correct Mr. Ornato's story.

Officials from the Secret Service have said that Mr. Ornato, Mr. Engel, and the driver of the car are all ready to say that this did not happen. Before Ms. Hutchinson showed up this week, the committee had already talked to Mr. Ornato and Mr. Engel.

The officials don't disagree with the fact that Mr. Trump yelled at them to take him to the Capitol. On the day of the riot, people in the Trump administration told The New York Times that the president was very angry at the rally.

One Secret Service official, who asked that his name not be used to talk about the possible testimony, confirmed that Ms. Hutchinson and he talked, but said the conversation went differently than what she said.

The Jan. 6 committee tried to boost Ms. Hutchinson's credibility by saying that Mr. Ornato's testimony was inconsistent, but they did not release the transcripts in question. Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former coworker, said on Twitter that he lied about meeting her at the 2020 protests in Lafayette Square outside the White House. Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois and a member of the committee, wrote on the social media site, "There seems to be a major thread here... Tony Ornato enjoys lying."

But Keith Kellogg, who used to be Vice President Mike Pence's national security adviser, and other former officials spoke up for Mr. Ornato in public.

"I think the guy is a straight shooter," said John F. Kelly, who used to work with Mr. Ornato when he was in charge of Mr. Trump's security detail and has since publicly broken with Mr. Trump. "I never had a doubt that the work the Secret Service needed to do was done, and done really well, wherever we went."

A former top official in the Trump administration said that Mr. Trump asked to go to a big public event with only one day's notice, but Mr. Ornato told him in no uncertain terms that he couldn't.

During the first few years of Trump's presidency, two former senior officials said that Mr. Ornato would sometimes tell the chief of staff or one of his trusted aides about what was called "limo talk." This was when Mr. Trump would give orders or make statements that he wanted people to follow or that Mr. Ornato thought the chief should know about.

As the Secret Service's current assistant director of the Office of Training, Mr. Ornato works out of the agency's headquarters. However, people close to the agency say he often went to the training facility in rural Maryland to talk to potential agents. He has been in charge of different parts of the agency, like the New York field office.

While he was there, he was in charge of all security operations. One of his most important jobs was to make sure that officials at the U.N. General Assembly were safe.

Mr. Ornato is from a town near New Haven, Connecticut. His family owned a tavern in the city that police officers and firefighters had been going to for years. In 2000, when George W. Bush was running for president, he worked at the Secret Service office in New Haven. When Bush was elected, Mr. Ornato joined his daughter's security team. He kept working for Mr. Obama and was given a few promotions.

People who worked with Mr. Ornato in the Trump White House said they never heard him talk about politics, even when Mr. Trump asked him for his opinion, as he did with almost everyone else.

But some officials didn't like the idea of putting a member of the Secret Service in charge of operations at the White House. The Secret Service has tried for a long time to keep a nonpartisan image.

Rand Beers, who was acting secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration, said, "I've never, ever heard of it." "Even though Secret Service detailees can be involved in some pretty embarrassing and sensitive things, they keep their image by staying quiet, so most people don't think of them as being political."

He said, "All I can say is that's a very strange thing to happen."

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