The question of why so few Republicans have stepped forward to testify about what they heard and saw in the Trump White House, is very much at the heart of much of the House Jan. 6 committee’s work — and of Tim Miller’s new book, “Why We Did It,” which, by chance, was released the same day as Hutchinson’s explosive testimony.
Miller’s arc is, by now, somewhat familiar: At the dawn of the Trump era, he was an in-demand Republican strategist and a top aide to Jeb Bush. He watched in horror as Trumpism swallowed the Republican establishment and his fellow GOP strategists jumped on the MAGA bandwagon. He resisted, left the party, and devoted himself to Never Trumpism.
In his new book, Miller sets out to understand the mindset of those Republicans who remained — friends and former colleagues who weren’t all that different from him, but who enthusiastically worked to elect Trump and later joined his administration.
In one chapter, he traces the journey of Alyssa Farah Griffin. In 2016, she was a 20-something conservative and top Capitol Hill aide who couldn’t bring herself to vote for Trump. By 2020, she was director of strategic comms in the Trump White House — before resigning that December.
On the outside, Griffin joined Miller in the ranks of the Never Trumpers, and began helping others do the same. Most recently, it was Griffin who helped guide Hutchinson, her good friend, through the fraught process of breaking away from the Trump world, a journey that culminated in Hutchinson’s devastating account of Trump’s actions on Jan. 6.
On Thursday, Ryan met with Miller and Griffin at the Georgetown Club for lunch — and to talk about Miller’s new book, their respective journeys navigating Trumpism and what Hutchinson’s testimony could mean for the future of Trump’s grip on the Republican Party.