Brendan Morrow

Former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller is placing blame on former President Donald Trump for the Capitol riot, arguing that without him, it’s “pretty much definitive” that it wouldn’t have occurred.

Miller, who served under Trump and was in office on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, spoke with Vice about the former president’s actions surrounding the riot. When asked if Trump is responsible, Miller pointed to the former president’s speech prior to the riot, arguing it clearly led to the violent attack.

“The question is, would anybody have marched on the Capitol and overrun the Capitol without the president’s speech?” Miller asked. “I think it’s pretty much definitive that wouldn’t have happened.”

Miller added, however, that he isn’t sure whether Trump knew that he was “enraging the crowd” to riot at the Capitol when he delivered this speech in Washington, D.C.

Trump during his address prior to the riot urged supporters to march down to the Capitol and “show strength.” He was ultimately impeached a second time, but acquitted by the Senate, for “incitement of insurrection” for his actions, which were condemned by numerous officials who have served under him. Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, for example, also blamed Trump for the riot, saying on Jan. 6, “Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump.”

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