WASHINGTON — Speaking at a pro-Trump rally in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Rep. Mary Miller, a first-term Republican Congresswoman from Illinois, said “Hitler was right,” sparking outrage from activists and elected officials.
Addressing the crowd near the U.S. Capitol, Miller said the Nazi leader “was right on one thing: He said whoever has the youth has the future.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt slammed Miller for her comment. "Hitler wasn't right on anything – and invoking his name in this or any other context is wildly offensive and disrespects the millions who perished due to the Nazis' hateful, genocidal regime," Greenblatt said.
Progressive Jewish group IfNotNow urged "every American Jewish institution needs to condemn Rep. Miller's statement immediately."
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Miller's fellow Illinois congresswoman Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, also took issue with the Republican Party, saying "As the GOP emboldened the President’s worst lies & most dangerous, racist allies, today an incoming congresswoman from my state said “Hitler was right about one thing.” Meanwhile, white supremacists are talking about 'watering the trees liberty with the blood of patriots.'"
Miller spoke during one of several pro-Trump rallies held in Washington over the past several days, and one day before thousands of Trump supporters demonstrated outside the White House to protest Congress’ confirmation of the electoral college vote won by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.
Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed police barricades after tearing down several layers of fencing and attempting to fight federal police, even forcing the Senate to order a recess. The Madison Building in the Capitol Complex had to be briefly evacuated, while police asked people in the Cannon House Office Building to leave.
"I just had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside. Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots," Rep. Elaine Luria from Virginia tweeted.
“We will never give up, we will never concede,” Trump told the massive crowd outside the White House shortly before the clashes. In the hours before his speech, ordinary citizens wearing pro-Trump shirts mixed with members of militia and extremist groups wearing body armor. They alternated between innocuous chants, cries of profanity, and threats of overthrowing a government led by Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and current Congressional leaders.
The crowd erupted into chants of “bullshit” when Trump called Democratic electoral victories an “explosion of bullshit.”
Crowd control largely fell to the Metropolitan Police Department, which mobilized all 3,750 officers, the Capitol Police, the Park Police, the U.S. Secret Service, and more than 300 members of the city’s National Guard, according to D.C. police chief Robert Contee and other officials. Police arrested 10 people overnight prior to Wednesday’s rally and several officers were wounded in clashes with protesters attempting to reach the front of the White House.