US Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato resigned on Monday, a major departure two months after explosive testimony by a former White House aide, who claimed Ornato told her then-President Donald Trump was enraged when he learned his security detail would not take him to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

“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.

Who is Anthony Ornato?

He has a BS in criminal justice and MS in forensic science from the University of New Haven and a Master of Liberal Studies in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma. Ornato also has a certificate in Executive Leadership from American University.

He’s completed professional development relating to General & Flag Officers Homeland Security Crisis Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School. Ornato, in 2021, was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

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Ornato, while Trump’s White House chief of operations, was responsible for different aspects of security, travel, information technology, military operations, scheduling and operational logistics, to assist the President.

He also handled an unclassified budget of around $800 million and led over 5,000 personnel to provide assistance to the Executive Office of the President complex. Ornato also oversaw numerous offices in the White House including the Presidential Airlift Group (Air Force One); the Presidential Marine Helicopter Squadron (Marine One); Camp David; the White House Communications Agency; and Presidential Continuity Policy, Plans and Requirements.

He has around three decades of experience in operational security and law enforcement, having joined the Secret Service in 1997. 

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Ornato has also been part of the Presidential Protective Division (PPD) during George W Bush and Barack Obama’s tenure. During his time with the Secret Service, Ornato held several leadership roles including responsibility for the protection operations of the UN General Assembly for three years in a row. 

His name came up as part of the Jan 6 hearing committee‘s fact-finding mission to determine whether Trump was responsible for the Capitol Hill riots. It’s become clear that Ornato had informed Trump that rioters were armed.