Adam Kinzinger, the Republican congressman whose family said he was supporting the “Devil’s army” for opposing Donald Trump in a letter last month, has said the former president is responsible for causing such division.
“I’m glad the letter came out,” Mr Kinzinger told CNN‘s Cuomo Prime Time on Monday, “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”.
Mr Kinzinger was among 11 Republicans who voted to impeach the former president on 13 January for inciting the insurrection on the Capitol on 6 January.
In a letter sent days after the vote, 11 members of the Kinzinger family wrote that he was “a disappointment” and had “embarrassed the Kinzinger family name” for voting to impeach Mr Trump.
Mr Kinzinger’s family told him that his actions went against “Christian principles” and Mr Trump because he had supported Democrats – or the “Devil’s army” – in holding the former president responsible for the attack on the Capitol.
After the letter was published by the New York Times last week, Mr Kinzinger said conservative churches were “brainwashing” his relatives and others with pro-Trump messages.
“I hold nothing against them, but I have zero desire or feel the need to reach out and repair that,” Mr Kinzinger told the paper last week. “That is 100 per cent on them to reach out and repair, and quite honestly, I don’t care if they do or not.”
The Illinois Republican added on Monday that the Republican party’s relationship with Mr Trump was similar to the rift with his family, and that Republicans risked becoming “a minority forever” if its members do not leave Mr Trump and his rhetoric behind, and find competing voices.
“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,” Mr Kinzinger told CNN.
“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.”