Former Pentagon chief expected to throw Trump under the bus at Capitol riot hearing
Donald Trump at Jan. 6 rally ahead of Capitol attack (Photo: Screen capture)
May 10, 2021
When former President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, he put Chris Miller in charge just months ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The assumption is that Miller is going to throw his former boss under the bus Wednesday while testifying about the failures during the attack, Axios reported.
One of the biggest problems on that day was that the demand for National Guard troops to be sent to the Capitol went ignored out of fears over "optics," the Associated Press reported in March.
Miller outright blamed Trump for the Jan. 6 attack when he spoke to VICE Showtime in March.
"Would anybody have marched on the Capitol, and tried to overrun the Capitol, without the president's speech? I think it's pretty much definitive that wouldn't have happened," he said.
Miller said that he wasn't clear on whether Trump fully understood what he was doing and what his supporters would do, but he made it clear that the attack never would have happened without Trump's words.
"It seems cause-and-effect," Miller said of Trump's speech. "The question is, did he know he was enraging people to do that? I don't know."
He released a statement on Jan. 15 denying the Pentagon had any influence over the slow response to deploying troops to the Capitol. Instead, he claimed that by military standards, guards were deployed quickly. The problem, however, is that the troops weren't hanging out at home, they were already deployed several miles away near the White House. They could have walked from their location to the U.S. Capitol in the time that it took for the Defense Department officials to approve deployment to the building.