In Milley’s own words: The most striking moments from his Jan. 6 interview

The Joint Chiefs chair told investigators he was worried that America’s enemies saw an opening based on the chaos at the Capitol.

The military’s top general was so alarmed by the events of Jan. 6 that he ordered his staff to immediately start collecting “boatloads” of relevant documents for future investigations — even classifying some so that only certain people could see them.

The revelation was one of many that Milley made during a Nov. 17, 2021, interview with committee members.

The 300-page transcript of the interview released this week is chock-full of wild anecdotes — not just from the day of the Capitol assault, but from the two years he served as then-President Donald Trump’s top military adviser.

From the very start, Milley makes clear that he is appalled by the events of that day. The general spoke at length about the oath he took as an officer and said he believes the insurrection was no less than an assault on the Constitution.

Norquist predicted the Capitol assault

During an interagency rehearsal of the vote to certify the election in the days leading up to Jan. 6, then-Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist predicted that the greatest threat that day would be “a direct assault on the Capitol,” Milley said.

“I only remember it in hindsight because he was almost like clairvoyant,” Milley said. “He nailed it. He pegged that one. Incredible.”

“Protect my people”

On Jan. 3, the national security team assembled to brief the president about Iran increasing the number of centrifuges it can use to enrich uranium. At the very end of the meeting, Milley remembers, Trump turned to acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and asked him if he was “set” for Jan. 6.

“You’re set for the 6th and all that and you got a plan and, you know, protect my people and all that. Right?” Milley said. “And I’m silent. I’m just listening and I’m like, hmm.”

This struck Milley as “odd,” he said, because it was so out of place at the meeting.

Loud words for Patel

Milley recalls mocking the chief of staff in front of a number of top DoD officials, including the Army secretary and superintendent of West Point, at the Army-Navy game in December of 2020.

“I said in perhaps a voice that was louder than maybe I should have, I said to Kash Patel, I said: So, Kash, which one are you going to get, CIA or FBI?,” Milley told investigators. “And Patel’s face, you know, he looks down and he comes back and says: Chairman, Chairman.”

Unlawful orders

There were “indications” throughout the two years he served as joint chiefs chair under Trump that the president was contemplating issuing unlawful orders to the military, Milley said. While not specific to the election or the Insurrection Act, there were “other discussions” that caused him to worry, particularly about a crisis overseas