While the Republican party continues to downplay the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol, in transcripts from his interview with the Jan. 6 Committee, Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley states that he took the attacks seriously and warned others to do the same.
According to Politico, during his interview with the committee Milley told them he collected "boatloads" of information prior and during the Jan. 6 attacks because he knew they would become valuable evidence in the future. Milley even identified particular documents as classified to ensure only select individuals would be able to review the evidence.
The transcript of the interview is 300 pages, as Milley goes into deep details on how he took the online threats seriously compared to other colleagues. According to his interview, Milley had several discussions about the preparedness for the Jan. 6 "event" with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence's national security adviser, retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg.
A detailed exercise to practice for potential violence on Jan. 6 was held at Milley's request, the exercise included turning a gym into a model of Washington, D.C. to review logistical preparedness. The practice was taped by the Secret Service.
Milley also explained that in his opinion the Jan. 6 attacks were an official attack on the country's Constitution. During the interview he gave the most credit to then-Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist. According to the Milley's interview, Nordquist accurately predicted that the largest threat on Jan. 6 would come from "a direct assault on the Capitol."
Milley described Norquist's prediction as "clairvoyant" in retrospect.
On the contrary, Milley said that then-national security advisor Robert O' Brien thought the biggest threats were from antifa and Black Lives Matter members directly assaulting pro-Trump protesters.
In his interview, Milley also acknowledged a verbal confrontation with Kash Patel, a member of former President Donald Trump's staff who was elevated to chief-of-staff to the acting defense secretary in 2016. Milley reiterated in the interview that Patel and several other members of Trump's staff were clearly not prepared for the events of Jan. 6.