- Kinzinger told Crain’s Chicago Business that differing political views shouldn’t dictate relationships.
- He has no plans to make up with family members who shunned him over his criticism of Trump.
- The congressman said that people shouldn’t accept bad treatment “for the sake of getting along.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger said in a podcast released on Monday that he had not “made amends” with the relatives who publicly accused him of “treason” for his vocal criticism of former President Donald Trump — and expressed that he had no plans on doing so.
During an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business, the Illinois Republican said that it was unwise to dismiss someone because they have a differing viewpoint on politics.
“I have not made amends with the ones that disowned me and I don’t intend to. This is not meant to be a bad thing because — it doesn’t mean if someone treats you badly that you have to accept that for the sake of getting along. Don’t be the person that’s disowning somebody because they have a different political opinion,” he said.
He continued: “If you actually think deeply about the idea of political opinions … making friends based on how they think about the role of government is actually one of the stupidest and most arbitrary things to make friends on the basis of.”
Kinzinger went on to describe how friendships generally form and pointed out how politics has crept into basic societal interactions.
“Usually you make friends because you guys like to go out drinking or you like to go to movies or you like to work out or you happen to live in the same neighborhood. That’s what you typically make friends off of. You usually don’t make friends because somebody has a certain theory about the role of government, but that’s what we’ve become,” he said.
Earlier this year, several relatives of Kinzinger sent him two different letters blasting him for his criticism of Trump; in one of the notes, they suggested that the congressman had committed “treason” as a member of the military and was working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, whom they labeled a “witch/devil.”
In another letter, which Kinzinger discussed in an interview with Insider’s Anthony Fisher, the enraged family members accused the congressman of abandoning his “Christian principles” and joining “the devil’s army,” which they referred to as Democrats and the media.
For months, he has has been unsparing in his denunciation of Trump.
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Kinzinger said that he regretted not backing Trump’s first impeachment for the then-president’s alleged efforts to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 presidential election. Earlier this year, he was one of only 10 House Republicans to support Trump’s impeachment for “incitement of insurrection” for the then-president’s role on January 6.
The congressman — who recently announced that he will not run for reelection next year — now sits on the House panel investigating the January 6 attack.