NBC News’ Chuck Todd asked him during an interview on Sunday why he believes the party cannot “appease” Trump regarding his unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the election and “somehow build the Republican Party.”
“Well it’s two things. Number one, Trump set the table. He’s the one that continually brings up a stolen election narrative. He’s the one that has convinced, members of Congress, including what we saw a few days ago, to have a hearing on January 6 and claimed that this was nothing but a tourist group, or that it was hugs and kisses,” Kinzinger responded.
He continued, “You cannot, on the one hand, say that Donald Trump is a leader or the leader of the Republican Party — I believe he is the leader of the Republican Party right now because Kevin McCarthy gave him his leadership card. You can’t say he’s the leader and then say we have to move on. I would love to move on, Chuck.”
Watch the video below:
WATCH: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) says he would “love to move on” from former President Trump, but Kevin McCarthy “gave [Trump] his leadership card.”@RepKinzinger: “Trump set the table, he’s the one continually brining up stolen-election narrative.” pic.twitter.com/LH2Wtkd1lC
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 16, 2021
Additionally, he argued that the reason the Republican Party has to continue to push back on Trump’s claims is that he continues to allege the election was stolen.
“When Liz Cheney probably on a total of maybe four or five times, just simply answered questions that the election wasn’t stolen. And then Donald Trump dozens and dozens of times says it is, it’s not Liz’s fault,” Kinzinger said.
“She forfeited her ability to be our spokesperson by pulling us into this direction. From a position designed to speak for all of us, she has been looking backwards while repeatedly and unhelpfully engaging in personal attacks and finger-wagging towards President Trump rather than leading the conference forward with a unifying message,” he said.
Cheney has warned the colleagues that “remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar.”
“I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” she added.
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