Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kizinger described the modern GOP as “unrecognizable” and said its current leader—former President Donald Trump—is “basically insane.”
Kinzinger has become one of Trump’s harshest critics in the wake of the 2020 presidential election and the January 6, 2021 attack targeting the US Capitol. Although the GOP congressman said he voted for Trump in 2020, he has repeatedly slammed the former president for spreading lies about election results and inciting his supporters to launch attacks against the government’s legislative branch.
during Friday afternoon interview with msnbc, Kinzinger was asked if he recognized his political party a year after the violence of the pro-Trump attack on the Capitol.
“No, I don’t,” she replied. The Republican lawmaker said he identified with the GOP since the age of six. “What has changed is the use of conspiracy, the complete lack of courage to bring it out, the fear that pervades Republican Party leaders against a man [Trump] It’s basically crazy,” he said.
“You know, sending the press release from Mar-a-Lago,” Kinzinger continued. “It’s unrecognizable, and it’s sad because the Republican Party will continue to exist, and it’s a major political party in the United States. We need conservative voices there too.”
The GOP congressman expressed regret that his party had “lost, in the minds of many, any credibility.” Kizinger said that “it will take a long time to get it back.”
Kinzinger was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump, along with House Democrats, for inciting his supporters to attack the Capitol. Violent mobs came under attack after Trump at a nearby rally told him to march to the legislative building and “fight like hell” to save his country. They were largely inspired by his claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” in favor of President Joe Biden.
Although Trump and many of his allies continue to promote the claims, no evidence has emerged to corroborate them. In fact, dozens of election challenge lawsuits filed by the former president and his supporters have failed in state and federal courts. Even Trump-appointed judges ruled against legal challenges.
Audits and recounts across the country—in states where pro-Trump Republicans oversaw the election and conduct further review—confirmed Biden’s victory. Meanwhile, former Trump administration officials and prominent Republicans who support him have explained there is “no evidence” to support baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that led to his loss.
Despite this, polling data has repeatedly shown claims resonating with most GOP voters. Meanwhile, most Republican lawmakers in Congress have given importance to the claims or have refused to call them unfounded.
Kinzinger, along with GOP Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, is one of two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack. Cheney, like Kizinger, has consistently denounced Trump and fellow Republicans who continue to support him. While Kizinger has decided not to seek re-election, Cheney faces a Trump-backed primary challenge before the 2022 midterm.
As the nation celebrated the one-year anniversary of January 6 this week, tensions within the Republican Party over the attack were on full display in widely varying statements shared by GOP lawmakers. While some – such as Kinzinger and Cheney – condemned Trump and the violence that day, others defended the former president and attacked Democrats for focusing on events from a year earlier. Several GOP lawmakers said nothing, while others condemned the violence but did not mention links to Trump.
Trump again pushed the conspiracy theory that the election was “rigged” in Biden’s favor, issuing a series of statements Thursday. In an interview with right-wing network OAN this week, he complained that the media didn’t talk enough about the large crowd at the rally he had spoken to before the attack.
“No one ever shows pictures of it,” he lamented.
newsweek Trump’s press office reached out for comment.