Trump's Pentagon chief says he 'cannot wait to leave' his job
Posted January 15, 2021 4:04 p.m. EST
CNN — Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, who will leave office in less than a week. stated that he 'cannot wait to leave this job," according to a transcript released by the Department of Defense.
The admission, during a press gaggle Thursday on his way back from a trip to Nebraska, Tennessee and Colorado, was one of a number of stunning statements from the man President Donald Trump picked to take over the position just over two months ago.
The comments came the same day the Pentagon said at least 21,000 National Guard are being mobilized in Washington, DC, amid security concerns around next week's inauguration following the deadly riots at the Capitol.
Miller was asked about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a fifth-generation fighter jet considered the most expensive weapons program in history used by the Air Force, Marines and Navy. After clarifying that the question is about the F-35 and not a different weapons system, Miller begins his answer by saying, "I so...I mean, I cannot wait to leave this job, believe me."
He then apparently went on to disparage the latest American fighter jet, saying, "Yesterday we were talking to some guy, some lieutenant colonel, or colonel, said 'what are you flying?' Said 'F-35,' I was like that's a piece of ... and he was like ... and he laughed, and I was like, 'No seriously, tell me about it.'"
"I'm like, we have created a monster, but you know that," he concludes.
When asked what he wanted to see from Northern Command next week, Miller gave a meandering response that comes across as incoherent at times. "Uh, I needed to look the commander in the eye, because, you know, the President, SecDef, me ... I, whatever the correct English is, you guys can clean that up. Should have paid more attention in high school. My wife would be ashamed of me not knowing the proper preposition—and then, uh General VanHerck. So, you know, you just, I said it before, you can have [video tele-conferences] all day long, you know, but you wanna, like, I wanted to look the guy in the eye and get a sense for his soul and I think he probably needed to do that for me as well," Miller said.
Miller became the acting secretary of defense when Trump fired Mark Esper via Twitter on November 9, two days after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the Presidential election.
This story is breaking and will be updated.