Trump didn't have 10,000 troops ready to deploy on January 6, defense secretary says

Christopher Miller, who served as acting defense secretary on Jan. 6, 2021, told the House committee investigating the attack on capitol that former President Donald Trump never issued an order to have 10,000 National Guard troops ready that day.

“Not from my perspective, I was never given any direction or order nor was I made aware of any plan of that nature,” Miller said in the recorded statement that the committee tweeted Tuesday.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, said on the recording that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in February 2021 that Miller told 10,000 National Guard soldiers to be “prepared.” Other Trump officials have since repeated this claim.

Miller admitted that “a non-military person could probably have some kind of weird interpretation, but no, the answer to your question is no,” when asked if there were 10,000 soldiers at the ready.

Asked directly if there was a direct order from Trump, Miller said, “That’s correct, there was no order from the president.”

In public hearing last weekThe House committee on Jan. 6 showed testimony from Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying that former Vice President Mike Pence was the one who ordered the National Guard to go to Capitol Hill.

“Vice President Pence: There were two or three calls with Vice President Pence,” Milley said in recorded testimony. “He was very animated and gave very explicit, very direct and unequivocal orders. There was no question about it. And I can get the exact quotes, I guess, from some of our records somewhere. But he was very animated, very direct, very firm with Secretary (of Defense) Miller: Bring the military in here, bring the Guard in here, end this, et cetera.”

Milley also said in recorded testimony that Meadows told him they had to “kill this narrative” that the vice president was in charge.

“He said, this is from memory, he said, ‘We need to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the president is still in charge and things are constant or stable.’ , or words to that effect,” Milley testified. “I immediately interpreted that as politics, politics, politics. Red flag for me personally, no action. But I remember it clearly. And I don’t do political narratives.”

The committee also showed taped testimony from Pence’s national security adviser, Keith Kellogg, saying he never heard the president call for a response from the National Guard or law enforcement. Kellogg said that if the troops were called in to help defend the Capitol, he would have heard of it. And Nick Luna, a Trump aide, also said in recorded testimony that he was not aware of any requests Trump made to the National Guard, the Pentagon, the FBI, Homeland Security, the Duty Service or Capitol Police.

Zak Hudak and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.

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