Secret Service marks Proud Boys leader’s visit to the White House before January 6

Transcripts of statements released by the House of Representatives January 6 selection committee show the Secret Service briefed White House leaders after Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was admitted to the 18-acre complex for a tour.

Mr. Tarrio, who is currently on trial for provocative conspiracy regarding his group’s role in the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814, took a tour of the executive mansion on the day he destroyed a Black Lives Matter sign on 12 December 2020. Setting fire to black after stealing from a church.

At the time, his status as chairman of the pro-Trump extremist group was widely known, and the January 6 House committee transcript of an interview with former White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato showing his entry into White House grounds is noted. and forwarded by the Secret Service’s Protective Intelligence Division to agents dealing with the protective details of then-president Donald Trump.

A Secret Service chief forwarded the email announcing Mr. Tarrio’s visit to Mr. Ornato, a Secret Service special agent appointed to the President’s Administrative Office as the White House Chief of Staff for Operations.

The email informed the Secret Service Joint Operations Center that Mr. Tarrio had been on a tour of the White House that morning.

Enrique Tarrio attends a rally in Portland, Oregon in August 2019

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Enrique Tarrio attends a rally in Portland, Oregon in August 2019

(Noah Berger)

“The individual is the leader of the Proud Boys. “There is no known media coverage at this point.”

Questioned by committee investigators, Mr Ornato said he was not aware of who Mr. Tarrio was at the time, but became aware of it when he met with the delegation.

“And at the time, I probably – I didn’t know – I wasn’t aware of all the bands and everything back then, because I’m more familiar with them now. But if I had been told it was him, I would have reported it to the chief of staff that day,” he said.

In late 2020, the all-male violent extremist group led by Mr. Tarrio was known for appearing at pro-Trump rallies and protests across the United States.

And the December 12, 2020 tour that Mr. Tarrio took part in was months after Mr. Trump personally urged the group to “stand back and stand by” during his initial discussion with Joe Biden.

When asked if he knew who the Proud Boys as a band were at the time, Mr Ornato told the panel, “I don’t remember.”

“There were so many groups. So, I could have known at the time. I just don’t remember this particular group… I don’t remember all the groups I know or don’t know,” he said, but he did manage to remember the name of the left-wing group known as the “pink code”.

Trump refuses to condemn white supremacy and instead tells the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”

Ornato was also asked about another email sent 20 minutes later among members of Mr. Trump’s protective team, asking why Mr. Tarrio’s admission to the White House had not been brought to the attention of Mr. Trump’s team.

During questioning, however, he told the panel that he did not remember speaking to anyone about Mr. Tarrio’s admission.

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