Writing on Twitter, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) says he warned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that his support for efforts by conservatives to challenge the results of the 2020 general election would lead to violence, but that McCarthy ignored and brushed aside his concerns.
“A few days before Jan 6, our GOP members had a conference call. I told Kevin that his words and our party’s actions would lead to violence on January 6th,” Kinzinger wrote. “Kevin dismissively responded with ‘ok Adam, operator next question.’ And we got violence.”
A few days before Jan 6, our GOP members had a conference call. I told Kevin that his words and our party’s actions would lead to violence on January 6th. Kevin dismissively responded with “ok Adam, operator next question.” And we got violence.
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) May 10, 2021
A few days before a group of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the United States Capitol, McCarthy told The Hill that he would back efforts to challenge the results of the election. McCarthy’s statements came even though no evidence of election fraud was found, contrary to Trump’s fictitious claims that fraud had taken place.
“I think it’s right that we have the debate. I mean, you see now that senators are going to object, the House is going to object — how else do we have a way to change the election problems?” McCarthy told the news outlet at the time.
Late last month, McCarthy was slammed for defending Trump’s response to the riot, claiming during an appearance on Fox News that Trump had pledged to stop the attack during a phone conversation as the attack was underway. McCarthy also said that Trump didn’t know about the attack until the call, but it’s well documented that Trump spent the day watching news coverage of the attack.
“When he ended the call, he was … telling me he’ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did. He put a video out later,” McCarthy said, failing to note that it took hours before Trump posted a video urging his supporters to stop the violence (and telling them he “loved” them).
“Listen, my conversations with the president are my conversations with the president,” McCarthy said when pressed by host Chris Wallace. “I engaged in the idea of making sure we could stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time. The president said he would help.”
McCarthy had initially said in the week after the attack, which claimed five lives, took place that Trump “bears responsibility” for the riot and said he’d been too slow to try and stop his supporters.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.