Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger blasted former President Donald Trump Sunday for attempts to “hijack” the party and said he will not let Trump win.
Kinzinger appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he claimed that it is impossible to both hold Trump as the leader of the Republican Party and say, “we have to move on.”
“Why do you believe you can’t both appease former President Trump and his [stolen election] narrative there and somehow build the Republican Party?” host Chuck Todd asked.
“Trump set the table. He’s the one that continually brings up a stolen election narrative,” Kinzinger responded, adding that he thinks Trump is “the leader of the Republican Party right now.”
“When Liz Cheney probably on a total of maybe four or five times just simply answered questions that the election wasn’t stolen and then Donald Trump dozens and dozens of times says ‘it is,’ it’s not Liz’s fault,” the congressman said, referring to the feud between Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Trump, which resulted in Cheney’s ouster from her House leadership position Wednesday.
Todd then cited the 2019 Club for Growth scorecard, in which Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who replaced Cheney as the party’s conference chair, has a 35% conservative rating.
Stefanik’s score is lower than that of Texas Rep. Chip Roy, whose score is 100%, and even that of Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who scored 38%. Yet, House Republicans voted for Stefanik over Roy following Trump’s endorsement of the former candidate, Todd said.
“What does that say to the American people about what the Republican Party is today?” the host asked.
“I think what it needs to say to any Republican … is, policy doesn’t matter anymore. It literally is all [about] your loyalty to Donald Trump,” Kinzinger replied.
“I’ve been a Republican far longer than Donald Trump has, and I’m not going to let him come in and hijack my party,” Kinzinger claimed. “I’m not going to let Donald Trump win at that. That’s what the fight is about. I believe in what we used to believe in with 21st century solutions.”