Kinzinger on McCarthy: ‘I don’t think history books are going to be kind to him’

By | December 19, 2021

Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Sunday said there was an enormous contrast between how the top Republican in the House and the top Republican in the Senate have reacted to the Jan. 6 investigation.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Kinzinger (R-Ill.) praised a recent statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell while condemning House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for the strong influence former President Donald Trump still has over the Republican Party.

“McCarthy,” Kinzinger said, “has not said a word about anything, except for that Donald Trump is probably the greatest president to ever exist. And Kevin McCarthy himself I think made Donald Trump relevant again when two weeks after Jan. 6 or so, he went back down to Mar-a-Lago and brought him back to political life by putting his arm around him, and taking that picture, and basically sending the signal to the rest of the Republicans that were pretty quiet at this moment, that we got to get back on the Trump train.“

He added about McCarthy: “And he bears responsibility for that. I don’t think history books are going to be kind to him.“

Kinzinger is one of two Republicans serving on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. He was responding to McConnell‘s statement last week about that panel: “We’re all going to be watching it. It was a horrendous event, and I think that what they’re seeking to find out is something the public needs to know.“ McConnell has come under attack in recent months from Trump for the way he has interacted with the Biden administration and other Democrats on the Hill.

“He obviously holds his cards very close,” Kinzinger said of McConnell. “I think that was a very powerful statement and I appreciate it.”

Kinzinger told host Jonathan Karl it was possible that some of his current colleagues in Congress could be subpoenaed as part of that investigation — and didn’t rule out the same for Trump.

“Because Jan. 6 was a really bad day,“ he said,“everything prior to that is the rot in the democracy or the rot in self-governance that we have to correct so we don’t get another Jan. 6. So absolutely anybody — nobody, member of Congress, former president, nobody in America is above the law.“