Kinzinger Suggests QAnon Theories Have ‘Unmoored’ The Republican Party

Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger talks about the way forward in the nearly 16-year-old conflict, now the country's longest war during a conversation with with former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman at the Wilson Center, on ... Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger talks about the way forward in the nearly 16-year-old conflict, now the country's longest war during a conversation with with former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman at the Wilson Center, on May 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Olivier Douliery/Abaca(Sipa via AP Images) MORE LESS
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January 28, 2021 12:05 p.m.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) took aim at his QAnon-sympathizing colleagues on Wednesday by suggesting that a GOP trend of embracing conspiracy theories has “unmoored the party.”

In a Thursday morning CNN interview, Kinzinger singled out newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) — a known supporter of QAnon theories — calling her a “RINO” and suggesting that the GOP freshman represent a “new definition of a Republican” that did not align with his values. 

“Let’s be clear. She’s not a Republican. She may be like this new definition of Republican, but that’s kind of  like a RINO thing, a Republican in name only is what she is,” Kinzinger told CNN’s John Berman. “I personally don’t think she should have any committees.” 

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The comments come as the GOP grapples with the departure of President Trump, who often amplified QAnon theories and praised Greene as a “rising star” in the Republican Party when she beat out opposition in her GOP primary last August. 

Kinzinger had lamented in an interview with the Washington Post published Wednesday that he’s felt “very isolated and very lonely” in his party, after voting to impeach Trump, whom many members of Congress have continued to defend in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot.

“I think we’re going to have an epic battle in the next six months for the definition of this party,” Kinzinger said at the time.

The Republican lawmaker appeared to take those comments a step further on Thursday when he suggested that Greene was not in fact a Republican at all — even though she won overwhelming support over a Democratic opponent who withdrew early.

But it’s not just a Greene problem, Kinzinger appeared to suggest.

The Illinois congressman said that the theories advanced by Greene and others were “unhinged from the Republican platform,” even though for months many of his GOP colleagues have done little to hold each other accountable for promoting those views.

According to Kinzinger, a worrying number of people have been “pulled into this dark underworld of conspiracies” and he suggested — without naming the House GOP leadership directly — that it was up to “leaders and everybody, frankly, to expose that darkness to bring light to darkness to begin to disinfect that.” 

“To the extent we have members of Congress that embrace anything like that or become completely unmoored from truth, we can’t accept that,” Kinzinger said. “And that’s where the battle begins is just letting people know it’s okay to speak out against this stuff and defend the integrity of the party.”  

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