Chris Miller, the former acting Defense Secretary, said that former President Donald Trump’s speech and the January 6 riots at the Capitol had a “cause-and-effect” relationship.
According to Miller, who headed the Pentagon during the riot, the large crowd of people who support the former president would not have marched into the U.S. Capitol if it were not for Trump’s speech. Just a short time before the incident, Trump delivered an address, in which he claimed that the election was “stolen” from him. He reiterated claims of election fraud even before the voting started. The former president also claimed that he was robbed of victory by Democrats, mainstream media, and complicit Republicans.
Miller appeared in an interview on “Vice on Showtime” that aired on Thursday. During the said interview, he posed a rhetorical question, asking if people would’ve marched to the U.S. Capitol if Trump did not deliver his speech.
“It seems cause-and-effect,” he said.
Miller Claims Trump’s Speech Caused January 6 Riots
A week after the said incident, the House of Representatives impeached Trump, charging him for allegedly inciting the January 6 riots as Congress was verifying the count of the elections. However, the Senate acquitted him on Feb. 13.
According to Miller, he was unsure if Trump did mean to provoke his supporters. He added that he thought the former president’s words as “concerning” when he listened to what Trump had to say.
Miller then said that he wonders if Trump did this with the intent of inciting a riot.
Additionally, the former defense secretary revealed that he did not speak to the former president on that day. Miller also proceeded to defend the military’s response to the riot as many criticize them over how long it took to deploy personnel to defend the Capitol. In the interview, he said the response time they had was normal. He added that public expectations of immediate response have been influenced by popular culture.