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Dem Rep. and Former Defense Chief Clash Over Remarks Blaming Trump for Jan. 6 Riot

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Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) got into a heated exchange with former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller over whether former President Donald Trump’s comments on the morning of January 6 were the “unitary factor” in inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

During a hearing on the preparation and response for January 6, Lynch asked Miller if Trump’s comments at a rally before the riot incited his supporters to march on the Capitol.

“Well, he clearly offered that they should march on the Capitol, so it goes without saying that his statement resulted in that,” Miller began.

Lynch interjected that Miller previously claimed it was “pretty much definitive” that the insurrection would not have happened without Trump’s comments.

Miller began to explain his apparent change, “I think now I would say that that was not the unitary factor at all.”

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“What’s that?” Lynch asked.

Miller responded, “I would like to offer, I have reassessed, it’s not the unitary factor at all. It seems clear there was an organized conspiracy with assault elements in place, going to assault regardless of what the president said.”

Lynch noted that in Miller’s written testimony for Wednesday’s hearing, he said, “I personally believe [Trump’s] comments encouraged the protesters that day.”

The Massachusetts Congressman went on to claim that there is a “very recent reversal of your testimony.”

“Absolutely not, that’s ridiculous,” Miller responded.

Lynch fired back, “You’re ridiculous.”

Watch the video below:

During an interview with Vice News in March, Miller made a seemingly different claim about Trump and the violence.

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When asked if he believed Trump’s comments incited the violence, Miller said, “I don’t know, but it seems cause and effect.”

He continued, “The question is, would anybody have marched on the Capitol, and tried to overrun the Capitol, without the president’s speech?”

Finally, Miller said, “I think it’s pretty much definitive that wouldn’t have happened.”

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