Screenshot via Vice on Showtime

Last night, Vice on Showtime aired an interview with former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller about the Capitol Riot in which he directly blamed his former boss for the attack.

"Would anybody have marched on the Capitol, and tried to overrun the Capitol, without the president's speech?" Miller told Vice's Seb Walker. "I think it's pretty much definitive that wouldn't have happened."

Which is YEAH, NO SHIT and also HOLY SHIT, because he's actually saying the true part out loud. And in a church, set to creepy woo music, for some reason.


"The question is, did he know that he was enraging the crowd to do that," Miller continued. "I don't know."

Presumably this bout of candor was provoked by the former president's attempt to deflect blame for the lack of preparation for the January 6 riot onto Miller. On February 28, Trump called in to Fox News and described a conversation he had with Miller on the evening of the 5th.

I said "Look, this rally is going to be bigger than anyone thinks because everyone I see said, 'Oh, we're going to be at the rally, we're going to be at the rally.'" ... Hundreds of thousands of people, and more than that. But hundreds of thousands of people. And I said that I think you should have 10,000 — I think I gave the number, I definitely gave the number of 10,000 National Guardsmen. I think you should have 10,000 of the National Guard ready. They took that number, from what I understand, they gave it to the people at the Capitol, which is controlled by Pelosi, and I heard they rejected it because they didn't think it looked good.

And indeed this jibes with the contemporaneous account Miller gave toVanity Fair reporter Adam Ciralsky:

The president, Miller recalled, asked how many troops the Pentagon planned to turn out the following day. "We're like, 'We're going to provide any National Guard support that the District requests,'" Miller responded. "And [Trump] goes, 'You're going to need 10,000 people.' No, I'm not talking bullshit. He said that. And we're like, 'Maybe. But you know, someone's going to have to ask for it.'" At that point Miller remembered the president telling him, "'You do what you need to do. You do what you need to do.' He said, 'You're going to need 10,000.' That's what he said. Swear to God."

Miller characterized this to Ciralsky as typical BS from the Bullshitter in Chief, saying "The president's sometimes hyperbolic, as you've noticed." We did! We also noticed that this appears to confirm that Trump knew there was a potential for violence long before he got up there and gave that speech telling the crowd to "go and fight." Almost like he actually intended for it to happen.

Miller is no resistance hero, of course. You already knew that after watching him systematically block access to the Biden transition team while blaming Covid and Christmas and Sasquatch and that time of the month. But the former Defense official proved it again last night with his derisive brushoff about the delayed response to request for help when the Capitol was under attack.

"What's your response to those that say, Well, this should have happened quicker? Or could it have been done better?" Walker asked.

"It comes back to understanding how the military works. This isn't a video game. It's not Halo, you know. It's not Black Ops Call to Duty [sic]," Miller snapped, before belittling the concerns of those who feared a military coup, describing it as "not possible in the United States military right now."

Nice of Just Security editor Ryan Goodlaw to compile this video of Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the Washington, DC, National Guard, calling bullshit on Miller's claim that only a dumbass would expect the Guard to deploy without hours of deliberation and reams of permission slips signed in triplicate.

During that same hearing on March 3, Gen. Walker testified that he'd received a memo on January 5 revoking his power to deploy guardsmen on his own authority and forcing him to run it up the chain to Miller.

"It required me to seek authorization from the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Defense to essentially protect my guardsmen," he told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. "So, no civil disturbance equipment could be authorized unless it was came from the secretary of defense ... the secretary of defense told me I needed his permission to escalate to have that kind of protection."

According to Walker's testimony, Miller withheld that permission for three hours while he conferred with Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt and Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, aka Mike Flynn's little brother. So maybe Miller can take that "Call to Duty" joystick and shove it up his ass.

In summary and in conclusion, the Trumpers are all going to shiv each other. And they all deserve it.

[Vice / VF / CNN]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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