Adam Kinzinger, the Republican representative from Illinois and an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, said on Thursday that the GOP’s fealty to the former president has made it a “creepy” party that he does not recognize.
Kinzinger, who is also one of the two Republicans on the House select committee investigating January 6, spoke to the Illinois-based news station, WGN-TV, about his public feud with Trump. The congressman conceded that, for now, Trump appears to have won.
“Yeah, he won in the short term, at least,” Kinzinger said. “There’s no use in pretending somehow I scored some major victory and saved the party.”
In addition to his role on the select committee, Kinzinger was also one of the 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching Trump following the events of January 6. As a result, he and those other lawmakers became targets of the former president, who has endorsed and campaigned for primary opponents for most of them. Kinzinger announced late last year he would not be seeking reelection and, as he told WGN, he may not be able to return to political office with the GOP in its current state.
“If people wake up, there may be an opportunity to come back,” Kinzinger continued. “If they don’t, I know I’ve done what I can do. It’s not the party I ever joined. It’s around a person, and it’s kind of creepy, to be honest with you.”
As a result of his opposition to Trump and his sway over the GOP, Kinzinger has received numerous death threats to his home, including ones targeting his wife and infant son.
Of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year, most have either been defeated by Trump-backed primary opponents or, like Kinzinger, have opted not to pursue reelection. The last one awaiting a primary is Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who is currently polling well behind the Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman. Cheney also serves on the House select committee with Kinzinger and, like him, has been a frequent critic of Trump in recent years.
In a recent New York Times profile, Cheney lamented the presence of Trump loyalists like Representatives Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene in Washington, D.C., naming several Democrats that she prefers to work with, despite their policy disagreements.
“What the country needs are serious people who are willing to engage in debates about policy,” Cheney said.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office for comment.