During a weekend CNN interview, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who will soon be departing Congress when he is formally replaced within days after he chose not to run for re-election, criticized the role of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy in fostering the extremism Kinzinger is leaving behind and that remains dominant among many leading Republicans.
Asked about the persistence of figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene in public service while he and Liz Cheney depart, Kinzinger said: “I think it says to me that the Republican Party is not the future of this country, unless it corrects, right? Unless there’s a change.” Greene recently pushed for bombing Mexico. She phrased it as an attack on drug cartels, although she specified striking these groups operating in that country was somehow not “bombing Mexico”… which isn’t how it works. Kinzinger added what he would directly tell McCarthy, who may soon become House Speaker. “I’d just let him know I’m disappointed,” he continued. “As a leader of Congress, he had an opportunity to tell the truth to the American people, and he went to Mar-a-Lago a couple weeks after January 6 and resurrected Donald Trump. He is the reason Donald Trump is still a factor. He is the reason that some of the crazy elements of the House still exist.”
Kinzinger also said while on CNN that in hindsight he wouldn’t have handled himself differently over the last roughly two years. Following the 2020 presidential election, Kinzinger emerged as one of the only Republicans in elected federal office willing to publicly break with Trump on his false claims of widespread misconduct in the last presidential race and essentially everything that accompanied those consistently baseless conspiracy theories, like attempts by Trump and allies of his to secure another term for the now former president despite his loss. The expansive investigation by the House committee probing January 6, where Kinzinger has served, extended to cover those related political schemes — not just the Capitol violence itself. The outgoing Congressman also said he won’t miss the job itself but is cognizant of the serious breadth represented by his service in D.C.
Check out his interview below: