Rep. Adam Kinzinger: GOP must 'take ownership for what happened' on Jan. 6 or it will impact 2022 midterm elections

Adam Kinzinger
Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger said that the GOP has to honestly confront what happened on Jan. 6.

  • Kinzinger said that blocking a commission won't stop the Capitol riot from being an issue in 2022.

  • Kevin McCarthy has "failed to tell the truth" to the GOP and American voters, he said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Sunday said that even if a bipartisan commission to create a January 6 commission isn't approved by the Senate, the Capitol riot will still be a factor in the 2022 midterm elections if the GOP doesn't "take ownership for what happened."

During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Kinzinger, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in the riot and supports the commission, was asked by host Chris Wallace if the Democratic-led legislative push was a way to keep the issue in the public sphere ahead of the elections.

"Well, here's a revelation. This is going into 2022 midterms anyway, particularly if us as Republicans don't take ownership for what happened," he said. "If every other day there's a new conspiracy theory about what happened at the Capitol, anybody but what it was, then I think it'll go into 2022."

Kinzinger said that Republican voters have "had their patriotism abused by somebody that simply wants to use it to maintain power."

Read more: Being a Black Republican is exhausting. But Sen. Tim Scott and other big-name conservatives say they don't need anyone's pity or platitudes.

When asked whether GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's opposition to the commission was a conflict of interest, given his conversations with Trump regarding the riot, Kinzinger didn't agree, but he proceeded to blast McCarthy for being dishonest.

"I wouldn't say it's a conflict of interest because Kevin is the leader," he said. "There's probably a lot of people that are going to be subject to being called in front of any investigation on this even criminal investigation, but I do think Kevin has failed to tell the truth to the Republicans and to the American people."

He added: "It pains me to say it. It's not like I enjoy standing up and saying this, but people, the 74 million voters that voted for Donald Trump that believe - a number of them that believe the election was stolen believe it because their leaders have not told him, otherwise."

Kinzinger said that McCarthy's inconsistency has been detrimental to GOP voters.

"The people they trust have either been silent or not told them the truth," he said. "That's where Kevin has failed because he told the truth on January 13, something around then, and then he went to Mar-a-Lago and said Donald Trump's the leader of the party. He's right Donald Trump is the leader of the party, but we need to tell people the truth."

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