Update: On Friday, U.S. Rep. Mary Miller released a statement that addresses the controversy. It reads as follows.
"Earlier this week, I spoke to a group of mothers about the importance of faith and guarding our youth from destructive influences. 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. This dark history should never be repeated and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children's hearts and minds. While some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs, let me be clear: I'm passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I've been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness."
Remarks by 15th District U.S. Rep. Mary Miller quoting Adolf Hitler the night before a armed mob overran the U.S. Capitol with the goal of overturning the 2020 presidential election have drawn criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
The 15th District covers both Saline and Gallatin counties, and 21 other counties that stretch along Illinois's eastern border with Indiana. Miller, a Republican, was elected in November and replaced longtime congressman John Shimkus, who retired.
On Tuesday, Miller (R-Oakland) spoke to a rally hosted by the conservative "Moms for America" group in front of the U.S. Capitol. She said, "Hitler was right on one thing. He said, 'Whoever has the youth has the future.'"
Illinois members of Miller's own party were critical of her remarks.
Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider condemned Miller's remarks.
In a statement, Schneider said, "That language is wrong and disgusting. We urge congresswoman Miller to apologize."
Another Illinois Republican congressman, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, was quick to criticize Miller's comments.
"I outright condemn this garbage," Kinzinger wrote on Twitter in response to a tweet from political columnist Rich Miller (no relation to Mary Miller).
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday called Miller's remarks "unfathomable and disgusting."
"Hitler got nothing right," Pritzker said during a news conference unrelated to Miller's comments. "This reprehensible rhetoric has no place in our politics."
Miller did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
Miller also sent out a news release Tuesday evening saying she planned to object on Wednesday to certifying the electoral college results that gave Joe Biden the presidency. She and Illinois congressman Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) were among the 147 House Republicans who objected to the certification of ballots from those two states and the only two from Illinois.
"The foundation of our country is free, open, and fair elections. That's what makes our country unique, and one of many things that makes this country great," Miller said in the statement. "The Constitution gives state legislatures sole authority over how our elections are carried out, but many state and local officials in swing states took matters into their own hands last November by changing how their state would conduct the election.
"I will be joining patriotic leaders across the nation in objecting to the Electoral College results of certain states that did not uphold the constitution," Miller continued. "Many Americans have lost confidence in the fairness of our electoral system. By objecting to certain electors on Wednesday, I hope my colleagues and I send a message to those men and women that we will not sit idly by while our Constitution is trampled on."
There has been no verified instance of widespread election fraud occurring, and at least 60 lawsuits filed in various states across the country claiming election fraud have been dismissed.