Former Trump acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said it’s “pretty definitive” that the deadly Capitol insurrection earlier this year wouldn’t have happened if then-President Trump didn’t deliver a fiery speech hours before the attack urging his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Miller spoke to VICE for an interview set to air Sunday on Showtime.
Miller, who was appointed by Trump after the then-President fired Miller’s predecessor, Mark Esper, after the November presidential election, pointed to Trump’s speech at a rally hours before the Capitol was breached in determining that there’s no denying the then-President’s role in inspiring the attack.
“Would anybody have marched on the Capitol, and tried to overrun the Capitol, without the president’s speech?” Miller said. “I think it’s pretty much definitive that wouldn’t have happened.”
Despite characterizing Trump’s rally remarks as “concerning,” Miller was unsure whether Trump thought through the dire consequences of his incendiary speech seeking to delegitimize the election process.
“It seems cause-and-effect,” Miller said, referring to Trump’s rally speech. “The question is, did he know he was enraging people to do that? I don’t know.”
Miller brushed off criticism over his responses to the Capitol insurrection, which included delays in deploying the National Guard. Senate committees are investigating the timeline of Trump administration officials’ response to the Capitol attack in real time.
“It comes back to understanding how the military works—this isn’t a video game, it’s not Black Ops Call of Duty,” Miller said.
Watch Miller’s interview below: