Former Defense Sec Miller on IG's Jan. 6 report: 'Horrifying' for media to 'beat up' military

The former acting Pentagon chief said he was "gratified" that the inspector general was independent.

Updated: November 17, 2021 - 2:24pm

After being vindicated Wednesday by the Defense Department inspector general for his response to the Capitol riot, former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said the news media and politicians had unfairly criticized the Pentagon for how it deployed the National Guard during the Jan. 6 incident.

Miller told the John Solomon Reports podcast in an exclusive interview that it "broke my heart" to see the military, which "responded really with alacrity and professionalism," just "get thrown under the bus by the politicians."

"I was so naive," he said. "I couldn't believe it. When it comes to national security, I thought we're on the same team. I was really horrified that it had become so partisan."

The new IG report shows Miller and other Defense Department officials acted correctly, despite being scapegoated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the media for an allegedly slow deployment.

"We also determined that DoD officials did not delay or obstruct the DoD's response," the report reads.

"I'm just so gratified that the inspector general was independent," said Miller, who ran the Defense Department as acting secretary under President Trump during the transition interval following the Nov. 3 election.

The critics thought they could "beat up on the Armed Forces and the Pentagon, because they can't fight back," said Miller.

"After relying on news sources growing up," Miller sees "how biased and incorrect" they are now that he was part of the story, he said, "and just the way they slant their coverage was horrifying to me. ... I think it's really troubling for America."

While the Pentagon knew it would have to get involved on Jan. 6, Miller said, if he had sent troops to the Capitol without being invited, "I would have been accused of launching a coup."

Sending in the Guard "isn't a video game," and he had to ensure the troops "were properly equipped, to make sure that things were coordinated with law enforcement," he explained.

"When you're in a huge fight, you just don't roll in," he added. "That's a recipe for disaster."