Rep. Kinzinger says McCarthy dismissed his warning ahead of Jan. 6 that election falsehoods would lead to violence

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HR King
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Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the earliest congressional Republican critics of former president Donald Trump’s false information about the 2020 electionelection, said he warned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a few days before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that adopting Trump’s rhetoric would lead to violence.

McCarthy (R-Calif.) dismissed his concerns, Kinzinger said.
“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,” Kinzinger tweeted Monday morning. “Kevin dismissively responded with ‘ok Adam, operator next question.’ And we got violence.”

A spokesman for McCarthy did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Kinzinger’s tweet. A pro-Trump mob intent on stopping congressional certificationaffirmationof Joe Biden’s presidential win stormed the Capitol that day, an attack that resulted in five deaths.


Kinzinger’s broadside against the most prominent House Republican comes two days ahead of his party’s expected purge of Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) from her leadership post over her continued criticism of Trump’s falsehoods about the election.
McCarthy backs ousting Cheney from GOP leadership, paving way for removal vote this week
The congressman from Illinois, one of 10 House Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump over his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot, also spoke virtually Monday at the National Press Club about the future of the Republican Party, and he continued to lash out at McCarthy.

Kinzinger said it was McCarthy who “resurrected” Trump at the end of January when the GOP leader went to Florida to visit the former president. The visit came after McCarthy had said Trump bears responsibility for the attack and raised the specter of censuring the former president.


“So when it came to Kevin, you know, the only thing Liz [Cheney] did was be consistent. . . . It pains me to say this because I considered Kevin McCarthy a great friend, but two weeks after Jan. 6, he goes down to Mar-a-Lago and it was almost like Jan. 6 never happened.”
Kinzinger said McCarthy, in making that trip, decided he wasn’t going to be a leader of the Republican Party, comparing him with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has drawn Trump’s ire for maintaining that he incited his supporters to storm the Capitol.

“He handed those reins to Trump and revived him,” Kinzinger said of McCarthy. “He gave his voting card, he gave his proxy card to Donald Trump.”
Kinzinger said he was so disillusioned by McCarthy’s reembrace of Trump that he considered bringing up a vote of no confidence against him but couldn’t get enough support from other Republicans.
Liz Cheney’s months-long effort to turn Republicans from Trump threatens her reelection and ambitions. She says it’s only beginning.
He said it should be McCarthy whose leadership is challenged, not Cheney, and suggested that he may pursue such a move if he could convince enough of his colleagues that a change at the top is the only way to save the party, which he said is teetering on the edge of collapse.
During an appearance on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Kinzinger compared the GOP to the Titanic.
“We’re in the middle of this slow sink,” he said. “We have a band playing on the deck, telling everybody it’s fine, and meanwhile Donald Trump’s running around, trying to find women’s clothing and get on the first lifeboat.”