GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger calls Trump ‘an utter failure’ after the former president said that the Capitol rioters posed ‘zero threat’

Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) speaks during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021.

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger blasted Trump for downplaying the threat of the Capitol insurrectionists.
  • Trump called into Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show and lodged complaints about the election.
  • Kinzinger said that Trump’s on-air statements were “quite honestly sick and disgusting.”
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GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of the most prominent Republican critics of former President Donald Trump’s influence over the party, went after the former president again last week.

When Trump called into the Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s nightly show, he continued to push 2020 election-related complaints, but Ingraham pivoted to the deadly January 6 Capitol riot, asking the former president if he’s concerned that the US Capitol has become a “fortress” after attempted insurrection.

“I think it’s disgraceful,” he said. “It’s a political maneuver that they’re doing. It was zero threat, right from the start. Some of them went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards. They had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in and they walked out.”

He added: “I’ll tell you what. They’re persecuting a lot of those people. Some things should happen to ’em … but why aren’t they going after Antifa?”

Read more: A Trump-appointed prosecutor blindsided the Biden DOJ with a ’60 Minutes’ interview on the Capitol riot cases. Now a federal judge wants to talk about it.

Kinzinger rebuked Trump’s minimization of the riot, which included the death of US Capitol police office Brian D. Sicknick.

“He is an utter failure,” he wrote on Twitter. “No remorse and no regret. It’s quite honestly sick and disgusting.”

Kinzinger, who has represented a Republican-leaning congressional district anchored in central and northern Illinois since 2013, has been criticized by his own family in two open letters disparaging him for his vote to impeach Trump earlier this year and for his vocal criticism of the former president.

In one of the letters, Kinzinger’s relatives suggested that the congressman had committed “treason” as a member of the military for openly criticizing Trump and was working with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, whom they labeled a “witch/devil.”

Trump was impeached by the House for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the attack and 57 senators – including seven members of the president’s own party – supported the conviction.

Since the Senate didn’t meet a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, to convict, Trump was acquitted of the charge.

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Trump falsely claims the Capitol rioters were ‘hugging and kissing’ police as they stormed the building

trump impeached
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Donald Trump falsely claimed the Capitol riot posed “zero threat” and defended his loyalists who stormed the building on January 6.
  • Trump falsely claimed some rioters hugged and kissed Capitol police officers as they invaded the Capitol.
  • One officer died after being attacked with chemical spray; more than 100 others were hurt during the riot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump downplayed the Capitol riot, falsely claimed it posed “zero threat,” and defended his loyalists who stormed the building on January 6 during an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night.

Trump claimed that some of the rioters had “great relationships” with the Capitol police, although one officer died and more than 100 were injured after being attacked by violent rioters. Trump suggested some of the rioters didn’t commit any offense by invading the US Capitol building as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 election.

“It was zero threat, right from the start, it was zero threat,” Trump said. “They went in, they shouldn’t have done it. Some of them went in and they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards, they had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in and they walked out.”

There is no evidence that the rioters hugged or kissed officers. Trump may have been referring to footage of a Capitol Police officer taking a selfie with one of the insurrectionists and some officers appearing to allow the crowd into the building.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died after rioters attacked him with chemical spray. Two rioters were arrested earlier this month and charged with assaulting Sicknick and two other police officers. Many of Trump’s loyalists chanted death threats against former Vice President Mike Pence as they entered the Capitol.

Still, Trump claimed his supporters are being “persecuted” by federal law enforcement because of their political beliefs.

“They’re persecuting a lot of those people, and some of them should be – some things should happen to them, but when I look at antifa in Washington … and nothing happens to them whatsoever,” Trump said. “They don’t talk about antifa, they don’t talk about BLM, they don’t talk about any of the other groups on the left.”

Ingraham jumped in to steer Trump away from arguing that the rioters shouldn’t be prosecuted.

“But you would say that people who commit crimes, regardless of what their political affiliations are, should be prosecuted?” she asked.

Trump responded, “Absolutely. What you said is exactly right.” But he also added: “They go after people on the right in spades and they don’t go after people at all on the left.”

The former president also took the opportunity to repeat his election lies, which incited the violence he attempted to defend.

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