Acknowledging that his move was “potentially” a victory for Trump, Kinzinger said it is the GOP establishment that is constantly handing victories to Trump, especially by supporting his baseless claims that the 2020 election was his. stolen.
“I don’t think it was my decision that would give Donald Trump a victory,” he told host George Stephanopoulos. “I actually think what’s going on here is that if he shows up in 2024 he’s definitely going to be the front-runner, but I think the Republican establishment now, whether it’s the NRCC, whether it’s that is [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy, clung to Donald Trump. It is not so much winning Donald Trump as it is about cancerous lies and conspiracies. “
Kinzinger also said the redistribution by Illinois Democrats, which would have made his re-election more difficult, was a factor in his departure. And he said many Americans feel alienated from the two major political parties these days. “There are a lot of people who feel politically homeless,” he said.
Kinzinger and Cheney are the only Republicans on the House panel to investigate the Jan.6 insurgency on Capitol Hill. He declined to speculate whether the president could be prosecuted for his role in the events of that day.
“I don’t feel comfortable making that statement yet,” he said. “I’ll say this: We get a lot of information. We continue to learn new things every day. Some of them are published in the press. Some who don’t. If the president knew what was going to happen, didn’t lift a finger to do anything, it’s up to the DOJ to make that decision.