Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who has made a name for himself within the party by speaking out against former President Donald Trump, said the country can learn from the rift his outspoken views have caused within his family.
As the result of being one of 10 Republican members to vote to impeach Trump last month, 11 members of Kinzinger’s family sent a letter to him accusing him of being a part of the “devil’s army.” The New York Times first reported on the letter last week.
“I’m glad the letter came out,” Kinzinger said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” “because I think that people need to see – if you haven’t experienced that division in your family, this is the best example of it.”
Kinzinger said that while he has no ill will against his family, he does not feel the need to reach out and make amends at this time.
“So look, I have nothing against them. I mean, maybe someday I’ll have to look back … but I don’t feel it right now. I just have no desire really to reach out and repair it, that’s up to them,” he said.
The Illinois Republican characterized the vast majority of his family as “good family members” even if a chasm of disagreement over the former President is currently separating them.
The rift between Kinzinger and his family is symbolic of the broader debate the Republican Party is having over what role Trump should have in the future of the GOP, specifically, whether the party should run toward or from the former President.
“If you think the Donald Trump thing in the long term is going to be the winning coalition and not somebody like me that’s conservative but doesn’t offend people, and doesn’t go out and attack and say that you owe me everything, and doesn’t incite insurrections – then we’ll be a minority party forever,” Kinzinger told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
As some of his fellow members have flown down to the former President’s Mar-a-Lago property to pledge their allegiance, Kinzinger did not mince words about the need to distance the party from Trump. Those views have come at the cost of being censured by his state party and the public shaming by his family.
“Donald Trump has had, you know, unmatched for four or five years the megaphone and now we need to have competing voices. I wish it was more than just me out there but I’m going to continue to be as loud as I can,” he said.