Kinzinger Warns Trump During Sunday ‘Meet The Press’ Appearance

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During an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press over the weekend, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) — a member of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot — laid out how that committee already possesses the components of what he called a “powerful and substantive narrative” surrounding the events of January 6 — meaning, of course, that attempts by ex-President Trump and his allies to stop the investigation from substantially moving forward have been unsuccessful. Kinzinger also suggested, as has been brought up elsewhere, that Trump could be guilty of criminal conduct in connection to his actions in tandem with the January 2021 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

As Kinzinger explained while on NBC:

‘I think, where we’re at right now, we know a lot of the narrative, and as I’ve said, I think the most important thing is not even the day of January 6, it’s what led to it. We have a lot of what’s out there in the public venue; what the president himself said — the fact that he was watching for three hours on TV, probably gleefully, while this happened. So I think if everything shut down today, we’d be able to put out a powerful and substantive narrative. We still have more information obviously [that] we want to get.’

Asked for an area of inquiry about which he’d like more information, Kinzinger brought up the question of what information Trump may have possessed in the lead-up to January 6 about issues including the potential for violence. The House’s riot investigation committee was reported in recent days to be examining the possibility of recommending Trump for prosecution on criminal conspiracy charges, an offense that would include an element of pre-meditation/ foreknowledge. The Congressman commented as follows:

‘I think the one thing that, if I could wave a magic wand and have more information on, it would certainly be, what did the president know about January 6 leading up to January 6? And I think that what’s important is, it’s the difference between, was the president absolutely incompetent or a coward on the 6th when he didn’t do anything? Or did he know what was coming? And I think that’s the difference between incompetence with your oath and possibl[e] criminal[ity].’

Kinzinger also spoke about the broader problems within the GOP that were represented by Trump’s rise to power — and remain represented by his continued hold on it. As Kinzinger observed:

‘I think, on the one hand, Donald Trump is a symptom of years and years of leaders, profit-driven radio shows, whatever, turning the base into this angry, fearful, victimized group of people… But then Donald Trump came along, and I think unintentionally — because I think he just wanted to be that guy — got in front of the wave where people wanted somebody to blow stuff up… The problem is leaders have to now interdict this fear and anger cycle, and they’re not doing it. They’re instead hiding… I think if people wake up to the fact that they are actually being financially, emotionally abused by leaders, maybe that’ll be enough to awaken this giant, this change.’

Watch Kinzinger’s comments below: