Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of the few Congressional Republicans who have proven willing to go against the Trump-centered party line on just about any major topic, revealed on Monday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dismissed concerns about imminent violence in a conversation with the Illinois Congressman and others ahead of January’s insurrection.
On January 6, of course, a mob of then-President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to forcibly stop the formal certification of Joe Biden’s victory, and before the riot, Kinzinger says that McCarthy seemed unfazed by the possibility that the GOP’s lies about the integrity of Biden’s victory could lead to violence like that Capitol insurrection. Kinzinger commented on Twitter as follows:
‘A few days before Jan 6, our GOP members had a conference call. I told Kevin that his words and our party’s actions would lead to violence on January 6th. Kevin dismissively responded with “ok Adam, operator next question.” And we got violence.’
A few days before Jan 6, our GOP members had a conference call. I told Kevin that his words and our party’s actions would lead to violence on January 6th. Kevin dismissively responded with “ok Adam, operator next question.” And we got violence.
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) May 10, 2021
Previously, McCarthy himself has stated that Trump “bears responsibility for [the] attack on Congress by mob rioters,” but more recently, he has stuck with the chorus of those seeking to gloss over Trump’s incitement. McCarthy has explicitly endorsed replacing House GOP conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) with Trump ally Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) in the party leadership role after Cheney repeatedly made clear that she would not go along with the lie that the 2020 presidential election had somehow been fraudulently swung to Biden. Trump has continued to push this lie months after the election.
Kinzinger and Cheney were both among the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection after the mob that he inspired with his lies stormed the Capitol building, putting the lives of members of government and others in serious danger. Discussing Trump’s incitement of the mob, Cheney has insisted that there “has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” The observation that Trump’s incitement of violence warrants serious action appears to remain a minority view among Congressional Republicans.