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Kinzinger says GOP voters ‘being abused’ by leaders who know election wasn’t stolen

Kinzinger says GOP voters ‘being abused’ by leaders who know election wasn’t stolen
Retiring congressman begs party to stop letting Trump’s allies use them for money

Congressman Adam Kinzinger pleaded with voters in his party on Sunday to stop letting leaders of the GOP use them for money while pushing false claims about the 2020 election.

The retiring Illinois Republican, one of two members of his party on the January 6 committee in the House, was interviewed Sunday on ABC’s This Week following the end of the first round of public hearings held by the panel’s members. A second round is set to begin in September.

“Ladies and gentlemen and particularly my Republican friends, your leaders, by and large, have been lying to you. They know stuff very different than what they’ve been telling you. They know the election wasn’t stolen, but they’re going to send out fundraising requests, they’re gonna take your money from you, and they’re going to use you to stay in power,” he said.

“You are being abused. You can be mad at Liz Cheney and I, that’s fine,” Mr Kinzinger continued, referring to the GOP vice-chair of the panel. “We’re not the ones lying to you. It’s the people you think are telling you what you want to hear. They’re the liars, and [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy is among them.”

The very public shot at Mr McCarthy and impassioned plea to the GOP base is likely to fall on deaf ears among the most hardline GOP voters who make up much of the party’s primary electorate, but polls have shown that majorities of independents and Democrats both support people including potentially Donald Trump being held accountable for the January 6 attack on Congress. At least 20 million viewers tuned in for the panel’s first public hearing.

Mr Kinzinger is not seeking reelection this November; had he decided to run for another term, he likely would have faced a serious primary challenge from a Trump-backed candidate as Ms Cheney is currently facing in Wyoming. Polls indicate that the congresswoman is almost certain to lose her race; before January 6 she was chair of the House Republican caucus but lost that leadership role after breaking with the former president and her party.

Mr Trump remains publicly enthusiastic about the prospect of running for the White House again , though as of yet he has not formally announced a 2024 bid. He continues to hold campaign-style rallies around the country featuring candidates he has endorsed in local races, often in naked attempts to remove Republicans who resisted his efforts to overturn the election from office.