Former President Donald Trump’s last acting secretary of defense has denied Trump’s claims that he requested thousands of National Guard troops be deployed to the Capitol ahead of the riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
“There was no direct, there was no order from the president,” Christopher Miller said in video from his deposition released Tuesday by the House select committee investigating last year’s violence.
Miller also denied a suggestion by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in February 2021 that 10,000 National Guard troops were at the ready before Jan. 6.
“I was never given any direction or order or knew of any plans of that nature,” Miller said. “So I was surprised by seeing that publicly but I don’t know the context or even where it was.”
The former acting Pentagon chief added that there were plans in place for activating more troops, but “that was not anything more than contingency planning.”
When Miller was asked directly by an investigator whether he was given an order to have 10,000 troops at the ready Jan. 6, he responded: “A non-military person probably could have some sort of weird interpretation, but no. The answer to your question is no.”
Trump has repeatedly claimed that he requested thousands of National Guard forces to secure the Capitol, but was turned down by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). There is no evidence for such a claim apart from Trump’s word, and Pelosi’s office has stated that she had no authority to decline any offer of military assistance.
“The Unselect Committee has now learned that I, as President suggested and offered up to 20,000 National Guard, or troops, be deployed in D.C. because it was felt that the crowd was going to be very large,” the former president wrote on his Truth Social platform June 9.
“Crazy Nancy Pelosi turned down the offer, she didn’t like the way it looked. Likewise, the Mayor of D.C.,” he continued. “Had they taken up the offer, there would have been no January 6. The Unselects have ruled Pelosi ‘off limits, no questions.’ The hearing is another political HOAX to counter inflation etc.”
On the day of the riot, videos released by the select committee indicate, Miller worked closely with Vice President Mike Pence and congressional leaders to send in forces to clear the Capitol of Trump supporters and secure the building.
“We’re not gonna let these people keep us from finishing our business,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Miller during a conference call at 4:45 p.m. Jan. 6. “So we need you to get the building cleared, give us the okay, so we can go back in session and finish up the people’s business as soon as possible.”
“Amen, sir,” Miller responded.