WATCH: Ex-Secretary of Defense says Trump wanted the National Guard 'to protect the demonstrators'
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller. (DOD photo)

Former Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said Wednesday that Donald Trump was interested in the deployment of the National Guard during their Jan. 3 discussion.

When Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) questioned, "did you tell the president about the mayor's requests or did President Trump ask if there were requests?"

"He asked if there were requests," said Miller.

"What was the president's response to you with regard to the requests made to you by Mayor [Muriel] Bowser?" Donalds asked.

"Fill it and do whatever is necessary to protect the demonstrators, ya, uh, and, uh, that were executing their constitutionally protected rights," said Miller.

Earlier this year, Miller told Vanity Fair that Trump told him he would need to deploy 10,000 troops in Washington, D.C. "You do what you need to do," Trump reportedly said on January 5. "You're going to need 10,000."

In attempting to explain Trump's comment, Miller said the "president's sometimes hyperbolic, as you've noticed. There were gonna be a million people in the street, I think was his expectation."

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