Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Sunday criticized the Republican party for backing former President Trump in the wake of the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property because he said he believes they are “defending a man who very clearly did not take the national security of the United States to heart.”
Kinzinger told NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd this was the same political base that pushed to imprison former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her handling of emails as a secretary of state.
“The hypocrisy of folks in my party that spent years chanting, ‘Lock her up,’ about Hillary Clinton because of some deleted emails or – quote/unquote, ‘wiping a server’ — are now out there defending a man who very clearly did not take the national security of the United States to heart,” Kinzinger said.
The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month as part of an investigation into whether the former president violated the Espionage Act and statutes involving obstruction of justice.
Much of the GOP has rallied around Trump, with a select few calling to “defund the FBI.” One Trump supporter earlier this month threatened FBI agents in Ohio before he was shot and killed in a standoff with police.
Kinzinger, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, told NBC that if he or other lawmakers took home classified documents and refused to give them up, they would be in “real trouble.”
“This is disgusting in my mind,” Kinzinger said, adding, “no president should act this way, obviously.”
The Illinois lawmaker noted that the National Archives first launched an inquiry into the missing documents in the spring of 2021 and were hampered by Trump’s efforts because he was either withholding information or stonewalling requests.
“Mishandling classified information is one thing, particularly if it was unintentional. You know, if you accidentally did take something home, there may be consequences,” Kinzinger told Todd on NBC. “But I think you look at the intentionality of that. There is intentionality there. I mean, this thing is big.”
“When you look at some of the president’s biggest kind of cheerleaders, [Republican Reps.] Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, have gone kind of silent,” he continued. “That tells you all you need to know.”