Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Friday that only a handful of his Republican colleagues in the House actually believe ex-President Donald Trump’s election lies.
The vast majority of House Republicans, Kinzinger told CNN’s Jake Tapper, were simply boarding the Trump train in a desperate bid to preserve their jobs.
“How many actually believe it? Five, probably, if that, maybe? I don’t know, but it’s in the single, it’s low,” said Kinzinger, a vocal critic of Trump who defied his party to vote for the impeachment of the former president for inciting the deadly U.S. Capitol riot.
“People don’t believe it,” he continued. “But what they are doing is they’re sitting around saying, ‘I need to continue to exist in this job so that I can make an impact. I don’t have the courage or the strength or the ability to swing this party, so I’m going to just kinda put my head down and go along.’”
“Some people have made the decision that grabbing onto the Trump train again, even though it’s been derailed, is the best way for us to push whatever,” Kinzinger added. Others, meanwhile, “just want to destroy the place.”
Kinzinger said GOP backing of Trump’s conspiracy theories may give the party a “temporary hit, maybe you’ll win the majority, I don’t think you will.”
“But I guarantee you in the long arc of history, this is not going to bode well for Republicans,” he added.
Watch the video here:
"What they're saying is if you don't go along with the big lie, if you don't go along with the fact that the election was stolen, then you basically need to go. And that's what that unity is."
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger on GOP members looking to "unify" by being a "fighter" like Trump pic.twitter.com/LPgNSkHiMM
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) May 7, 2021
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.