Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the Jan 6. committee, revealed new video from the committee’s interview with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley saying then-Vice President Mike Pence was the one who ordered National Guard troops to respond to the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, but that he was told by the White House to say it was former President Trump.
“Vice President Pence – there were two or three calls with Vice President Pence. He was very animated, and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that,” Milley says in the video.
“He was very animated, very direct, very firm to Secretary Miller. Get the military down here, get the guard down here. Put down this situation, et cetera,” he added, referring to Pence.
Milley also described his interactions with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows that day, drawing a stark contrast between those conversations with Pence.
“He said: We have 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 that things are steady or stable, or words to that effect,” Milley says in the video, referring to what Meadows told him.
“I immediately interpreted that as politics. Politics. Politics. Red flag for me, personally. No action. But I remember it distinctly,” he added.
CNN previously reported that Pence, not Trump, facilitated the mobilization of National Guard troops to respond to the riot.
The video of Milley’s testimony, who remains the top US military officer now in the Biden administration, speaks to how the committee will seek to highlight what Trump was doing, and not doing, as the violence was spiraling out of control – something CNN has previously reported will be an area of focus during the public hearings.