The husband of Republican Rep. Mary Miller is on defense and trying to distance himself from the Three Percenters after reports his truck was spotted with a decal for the armed right-wing group, which has been tied to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller’s truck was seen with a large Three Percenter decal, which the FBI has labeled a "radical militia group," while on Capitol grounds the day of the attack. But Miller denied promoting the group and told the Daily Beast in an email that he "never was a member" and didn’t know about the Three Percenters until he "read about them" when "fake news started this fake story."
The Twitter account @capitolhunters, which is working to help identify members of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, was the first to connect Chris Miller and his truck, according to the Daily Beast.
The Thee Percenters decal report comes after his wife, a fellow Illinois Republican who joined the U.S. House last month, faced severe backlash for citing Hitler during remarks at a Jan. 5 event, a day before the Capitol siege.
"Hitler was right on one thing," the freshman representative said. "He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future."
Mary Miller apologized a few days later in a statement, saying, "I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth."
In response to a question about the Three Percenters sticker, a spokesperson for Mary Miller told USA TODAY, "Congresswoman Miller has repeatedly stated that she joins her colleagues in condemning the violence that occurred on January 6."
"She and her family were in no way involved in the violent attacks and she continues to pray for the healing of our nation," Miller's spokesperson said.
While continuing to explain that he has no personal ties with the group, Chris Miller told the Daily Beast that he received the Three Percenters sticker from a friend and "thought it was a cool decal," but eventually took it off because of the negative publicity.
Three Percenters: What is the gun-toting group? And what do its supporters want?
In a statement to ABC News, the state representative added that the sticker was given to his son by a "family friend who said that it represented patriotism and love of country."
In a set of charging documents for one of the Capitol rioters allegedly belonging to the group, an FBI agent called the Three Percenters a "domestic militia that advocates for resistance to the U.S. federal government policy it considers to infringe on personal, local, and gun ownership rights."
The group says its name comes from a "rough estimate" that only 3% of American colonists were actively fighting against British forces at one time during the Revolution (a figure that is subject to debate). It says the name represents the group's place as "the last defense to protect the citizens of the United States if there ever comes a day when our government takes up arms against the American people."
While Miller has repeatedly insisted that he’s never been a member of the militia group, the decal is not the first time he’s been connected to the Three Percenters' logo, which consists of the Roman numerals for the number three.
During a rally last year railing again the Illinois’ COVID restrictions, Miller stood in front of several flags and posters, including a Three Percenters banner and a QAnon sign, which can be seen in a Facebook video he uploaded, while calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker "domestic enemies."
"It’s time to take our country back. It’s time to take our state back," Miller said during the rally. "There’s always a silver lining in every so-called crisis and the silver lining here is we’re able to identify our enemies both foreign and domestic."
At that event, Miller also took shots at 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden, calling them by the derisive nicknames former President Donald Trump coined for them.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rep. Mary Miller's spouse denies tie to Three Percenters despite decal