Amid an ongoing debate about the future of the Republican Party, an escalating feud between Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reared its head this weekend with the former charging the latter with not being honest with Americans about January’s Capitol unrest, as Fox News reports.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Kinzinger told host Chris Wallace that with regard to the events of Jan. 6, “I do think Kevin has failed to tell the truth” about that fateful day, maintaining that the “American people deserve the truth” that what occurred was “a [then-President Donald] Trump-inspired insurrection on the Capitol.”
In speaking with Wallace, Kinzinger blasted McCarthy for what he views as his lack of candor about the true underpinnings of the Jan. 6 unrest, opining that under his leadership, the Republican party “has said things like it was hugs and kisses, it was ANTIFA and BLM – anything but what it was.”
He continued his criticism, saying that far too many Americans who voted for Trump “believe the election was stolen, believe it because their leaders have not told them otherwise. The people they trust have either been silent or not told them the truth.”
Kinzinger, a longtime critic of Trump was among the 10 House Republicans who supported impeachment for the former president’s supposed role in inciting violence on the day the 2020 election results were set to be certified by Congress, and he also went against the wishes of GOP leadership last week by voting for the creation of a Jan. 6 commission to further probe the circumstances surrounding the violence.
McCarthy, for his part, opposed the commission’s formation and convinced the majority of the GOP’s House contingent to do the same by the time it came to a vote Wednesday. The measure narrowly passed in the end, but is expected to face an uphill battle in the Senate.
Sunday’s remarks are not the first time Kinzinger has singled out McCarthy for scorn, explaining earlier this month that in the immediate aftermath of the January protests, he conferred with Republican colleagues with the aim of forcing a no confidence vote against the party leader.
“I actually thought the person that should have their leadership challenged was Kevin McCarthy after Jan. 6. Because that’s why this all happened,” Kinzinger told a group at the National Press Club, according to The Hill.”I was considering, you know, having a vote of no confidence against Kevin, and our feeling was no, let’s move on. We’re gonna vote to impeach the president,” he added.
Trump, widely assumed to be plotting a return to the national political arena in the coming weeks, has already pledged his support to primary challengers of Kinzinger and other GOP candidates who have expressed alignment with his views, according to Fox News, setting the stage for an intense fight over the direction of the party ahead of 2024.