Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president, described some of the blowback he has received for having the audacity to put democracy above the cult of Trump.
Chuck Todd, host of NBC News’ Meet the Press, asked the congressman to explain the ramifications he’s faced since his impeachment vote.
“Look it’s really difficult,” Kinzinger said. “I mean, all of a sudden imagine everybody that supported you, or so it seems that way, your friends, your family, has turned against you. They think you’re selling out.”
He added, “I’ve gotten a letter, a certified letter, twice from the same people, disowning me and claiming I’m possessed by the devil.”
— Peter Wade (@brooklynmutt) February 1, 2021
Kinzinger was on the show promoting a new political action committee he launched to challenge the far-right takeover of the Republican party, which the congressman says “peddle[s] darkness and division.”
“Take a look at the last four years, how far we have come — in a bad way — how backward-looking we are, how much we peddle darkness and division,” Kinzinger said, “And that’s not the party I ever signed up for. And I think most Republicans didn’t sign up for that.”
The congressman spoke of his disappointment in Republican leadership, who seemed to take a stand against what motivated the violent mob on January 6th — signaling a move away from Trump — only to quickly reverse themselves. For example, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s visit to Mara-Lago to kiss the former president’s ring once again.
“I was disappointed over the last few weeks to see what seemed like the Republican Party waking up and then kind of falling asleep again and saying, ‘Well, you know, what matters is if we can win in two years and we don’t want to tick off the base,’ ” Kinzinger said.
The congressman added, “Look, people are looking for leaders to lead. We haven’t led.”