MP Adam Kinzinger on Sunday gave a glimpse of what it’s like to be one of the 10 Republicans in the House who voted to indict former President Donald Trump: friends and family turned against him and he was told he was “possessed by the devil”.
“Look, it’s really difficult. I mean, suddenly imagine everyone who has supported you, or it seems like your friends, your family have turned against you. You think you are sold out,” he said Illinois Congressman on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“I got a letter, a certified letter, twice from the same people, denying me and claiming that I am possessed by the devil.”
In the days following the January 6 uprising at the Capitol, it appeared that Republican leaders had decided to stand up against Trump. Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the minority House of Representatives, said Trump had “responsibility” and that he should take the blame for the uprising.
But the GOP members have started to return to the former president. On Thursday, McCarthy met with Trump at his property in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, in a meeting that was later described as “very good and warm.” The ad was published with a photo of the two smiling men.
“I’ve been disappointed in the last few weeks to see the Republican Party wake up and then go back to sleep and say, ‘You know what matters when we can win in two years and don’t want to tick off the grassroots,” said Kinzinger.
“The photo,” he added, “shows that the former president is desperate to continue looking like he is leading the party.”
Kinzinger started a website called Country1st.com to refocus the Republican Party’s “conservative principles”.
“I think the Republican Party has lost its moral authority in many areas,” he said. “How many people think that conservative principles are things like building the wall and you know you’re attacking the Capitol and having a riot? That’s what Country1st is about … – just go back and say, “Here are the conservative principles.”
The Illinois Republican Party is expected to reprimand Kinzinger for his voice on indicting the president – what he called the “GOP annulment culture”. The same thing happened for others like South Carolina GOP Rep. Tom Rice after his vote on the indictment. And last week Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) Went to Wyoming to rally against GOP. Rep. Liz Cheney for her moves against Trump.
“If you look at Matt Gaetz, who goes to Wyoming because a tough woman has an independent point of view and won’t explain why he didn’t vote for impeachment, it’s a totally GOP demolition culture.” Kinzinger said, “What we stand for, and I think what a significant section of the grassroots want, frankly, is to say, ‘Look, we can have different opinions.'”
Outside of the internal party chaos surrounding the impeachment of the former president, Republicans also encounter the behavior of one of their own.
House Republicans are trying to distance themselves from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) After hours of Facebook video surfacing of her expressing racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views.
Kinzinger said the people have the right to choose their representatives and that he isn’t sure he will support the evacuation of congressmen. But he said he would choose her from the committees to “take a stand”.