The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: christopher miller

Trump Never Issued Order Deploying National Guard To Defend Capitol

A former top Defense Department official has taken a sledgehammer to one of the biggest lies disseminated by Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as they sought to deflect blame for the riot onto Democrats.

Chris Miller, who served as acting defense secretary, told the House Select Committee on January 6 that the former president had never issued a formal directive to deploy 10,000 National Guard troops to secure the Capitol.

The select committee released taped testimony Tuesday evening on Twitter -- and slammed Trump for perpetuating a lie to dodge responsibility for a deadly attack he incited.

“To remove any doubt: Not only did Donald Trump fail to contact his Secretary of Defense on January 6th (as shown in our hearing), Trump also failed to give any order prior to January 6 to deploy the military to protect the Capitol,” the select committee stated in its post.

In the video, investigators questioned Miller on an assertion former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made on Fox News last February. Meadows said the Defense Secretary had asked “as many as 10,000 National Guard troops” to be “on the ready.”

“Not from my perspective,” Miller replied. "I was never given any direction or order or knew of any plans of that nature," he added. "There was no direct, there was no order from the President," Miller later said in the video.

The video went viral, garnering over one million views since it was posted on Tuesday.

The lie at issue was first uttered one month after the Capitol attack by Meadows, an indefatigable Trumplican, who sought to shift the blame onto House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in some form for the attack Trump incited.

“As many as 10,000 National Guard troops were told to be on the ready by the secretary of defense. That was a direct order from President Trump,” Meadows said on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures last February.

Trump echoed the lie in an interview with Fox News later that month. “I definitely gave the number of 10,000 National Guardsmen and [said] ‘I think you should have 10,000 of the National Guard ready,’” Trump said. “

“They took that number. From what I understand, they gave it to the people at the Capitol, which is controlled by [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi. And I heard they rejected it because they didn’t think it would look good,” the former President added.

However, Miller rejected this claim in his testimony. “Obviously, we had plans for activating more folks, but that was not anything more than contingency planning,” the ex-Defense Secretary said. “There was no official message traffic or anything of that nature.”

Miller’s answers echo the reporting of a Vanity Fair journalist who chronicled his experiences tailing the Defense Secretary and his top allies in the period leading up to the insurrection.

However, Fox News hosts, denizens of a world untethered by the truth, and Republican lawmakers — including those who blamed Trump for the insurrection but voted not to convict him for it — have continued to peddle the lie.

“The American people deserve to know the truth that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on January 6,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the party’s No. 3 leader, said last July.

The audacious effort to rewrite the reality of the worst Capitol attack in history — which resulted in four deaths and nearly 900 criminal charges — has been debunked multiple times. Still, prominent Republicans and Trump have continued to tout the false tally to downplay the gravity of the attack.

Trump Defense Secretary Disarmed D.C. National Guard Before Capitol Riot

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

In testimony before the House this week, Capitol Police and D.C. National Guard officials acknowledged that by Jan. 4 they understood that "… the January 6th event would not be like any of the previous protests held in 2020. We knew that militia groups and white supremacist organizations would be attending. We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target."

Read Now Show less

‘Up To No Good’: Gen. McCaffrey Warns Against Trump’s New Pentagon Chief

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Four star Army General Barry McCaffrey (Ret.) is sounding the alarm on reports acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller has banned Pentagon brass from holding meetingswith Biden transition team officials, leaving career military staff "stunned."

"Pentagon abruptly halts Biden transition—- MAKES NO SENSE. CLAIM THEY ARE OVERWHELMED. DOD GOES OPAQUE. TRUMP-MILLER UP TO NO GOOD. DANGER. —-" tweeted McCaffrey, who is a well-known and highly-respected NBC News and MSNBC military analyst.

Reports from Axios and Business Insider both say Pentagon officials are feeling "overwhelmed" by the number of meetings they've attended with Biden staff, and Miller has decided to order a two-week break for the holidays.

An official who spoke with Business Insider attempted to soften the ban, "explaining that the Pentagon and the Biden transition team agreed to a break and that the transition meetings are being rescheduled for after the holidays."

That report adds "other transition activities, such as answering requests for information and providing written materials, continue uninterrupted, the official explained."

Gen. Barry McCaffrey On Shakeup At The Pentagon: 'Mark Me Down As Alarmed' | Deadline | MSNBC

Today's news is all the more concerning given that the only item on Trump's official schedule today is a meeting with acting Defense Secretary Miller.

Air Force Moves Cargo Fleet To Tilt Georgia Senate Runoff

Not long after Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with ally Christopher Miller, the Air Force appears to have made moves to place a new fleet of cargo planes in Georgia that could benefit GOP Sen. David Perdue's runoff campaign.

The Air Force's "surprise" announcement this week happened just over two weeks after Esper's termination and Miller's subsequent helming of the Defense Department. Esper was part of a slew of other top-brass Trump administration to exit after Election Day.

Read Now Show less

Trump ’Terminates’ Secretary Of Defense Esper

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump Monday announced he has "terminated" Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and installed the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center in his place.

"I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately," Trump tweeted. "Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service."

Read Now Show less