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Tipsheet

Trump Derangement Syndrome Looks to Have Hit Adam Kinzinger Particularly Hard

Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP

There are few RINOs who have been hit harder with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) than Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), save perhaps Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). Cheney, as we've been covering for some time now, given her standing in the polls, is likely to lose her seat to Trump-backed primary challenger, Harriet Hageman. Kinzinger is retiring, after Illinois state Democrats pretty much redistricted his seat out of existence. 

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While speaking to CNN's Jim Sciutto on Friday, following yet another public hearing from the January 6 Select Committee from the night before, Rep. Kinzinger claimed that nobody would admit to voting for or supporting former President Donald Trump in 10 years, maybe even five.

"I truly believe in my heart in five years, maybe not five but definitely 10, you're not going to be able to find a single person that admits to supporting or voting for Donald Trump in this country because they're going to be embarrassed because their kids are going to say 'you actually supported Donald Trump? Are you kidding me?'"

The congressman then went on to liken Trump to President Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974, rather than be impeached. "And they're going to be like, no, no, we didn't -- it's like trying to find a Nixon supporter a couple of years after he resigned. I got to tell you, your kids -- and to my fellow Republican congressmen, stand up and speak out or your kids will be ashamed of having that last name. And I'm not trying to say that to be mean. That's just fact," Kinzinger claimed.

From his personal account, Kinzinger even went on to double down on this claim, going with the five year figure, when he retweeted a Babylon Bee headline.

Rep. Kinzinger's TDS was even further on display during his Sunday appearance on ABC News' "This Week," where he claimed "Trump is becoming irrelevant."

Host Jonathan Karl had not even directly asked the congressman about Trump, but rather asked "are you seeing any evidence that what you've uncovered in these hearings is having an impact on your Republican colleagues in the House or on Republican voters generally?"

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Karl had given Kinzinger room to pretty much just rant, so his answer also again doubled down on this five year figure. 

"What I'm hearing, a lot of anecdotal stuff around the edges of people who have been, you know, hard core with Trump that now just can't stand him. It's enough to make a bit of a difference within maybe a GOP primary, but I think on the bigger term it's denying anywhere near 50 percent of the American voters willing to basically go along with something like the coup on January 6th," he went on to say. "I think though long term, Jonathan, in like five years I still believe that you're -- it's going to be hard to find somebody that will admit they were ever a Trump supporter. And I think that's where this impact comes in, as future history."

Kinzinger didn't just go after the former president, who is very much still relevant in the Republican Party, but Republican leaders in Congress, as well.

With a message particularly for his "Republican friends," he declared that "your leaders by and large have been lying to you. They know stuff that’s very different than what they’re telling you. They know the election wasn’t stolen, but they’re going to send out fundraising requests, they’re going to take your money from you and they’re going to use you to stay in power. You’re being abused," as he went on to claim that he and fellow January 6 select committee member, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), are "not the ones lying to you."

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Speaking of "fundraising requests," though, it's worth pointing out that there are concerns with Cheney and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), another select committee member, when it comes to their fundraising efforts, including as it applies to January 6.

An interview that Kinzinger conducted with The Washington Post, and published as an "analysis" piece by Paul Kane on Saturday, also gave the retiring RINO some room to rant, about Trump, but also other Republicans:

“It’s been the biggest, kind of, sad point in my career because I considered him a friend, like a true friend,” Kinzinger said of [House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy during an hour-long interview Friday, just 12 hours after he helped lead the committee’s review of Trump’s actions on the afternoon of the attack.

While Trump might actually believe the 2020 election was stolen in some deranged fantasy, these other Republicans know Joe Biden won fair and square but will not dare say so in public, he said. “These people, who could have stood up and know better, are the ones I’m more angry at. I know it’s kind of dumb, a little bit, but they’re the ones that make me pretty upset.”

...

By the fall of 2020, Kinzinger pulled off the worst rationalization of his political career: He voted for Trump. “That way I can say with a straight face I voted for him,” Kinzinger explained, thinking about future discussions with voters. “I know he is not going to win, but I can say I did it. And so I have credit with the base.”

Didn’t that make him the sort of political coward he now despises? “Yeah, I was. Yeah, absolutely,” Kinzinger admitted, saying he felt “dirty” casting that ballot. “It’s not something I can square away in my soul fully.”

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For Kinzinger, the battle will continue. He hopes to run for office again years from now if his side can win the long-term fight against those who still choose Trumpian adulation.

“Trump is now secondary to the cancer. Trump is like a cancer of the liver. Now we have cancer in the whole body, and the next person that can mimic Trump can still pull his magic tricks,” he said. “We’ve got to stand up against this.”

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As Kane's piece mentions, Rep. Kinzinger is retiring, as Illinois Democrats had pretty much redistricted his seat out of existence. 

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