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Disowned By Family And Party, Rep. Kinzinger Still Works to Purge Trump From GOP

Disowned By Family And Party, Rep. Kinzinger Still Works to Purge Trump From GOP

In the Trump era many a pre-pandemic family gathering devolved into ugliness when his name was brought up in conversation. Angry supporters and opponents of the former president within the same family vowed never to see or to speak to one another ever again. The Kinzinger family of Illinois is one of them.

(Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Just two days after Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) called for Donald Trump to be removed from office for his role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrectionist riot at the U.S. Capitol, 11 members of his family sent him a two-page, handwritten letter telling him he’s in cahoots with “the devil’s army.” The letter, written by Kinzinger cousin Karen Otto, also said, “Oh my, what a disappointment you are to us and to God! You have embarrassed the Kinzinger family name!” Otto so wanted to make sure the six-term congressman saw the letter that she paid the $7 charge to send it by certified mail and sent copies to Republicans all across Illinois. “I wanted Adam to be shunned,” she told The New York Times.

Nonetheless, Kinzinger says he’s committed to purging Trump and his ugly brand of identity politics from the GOP. “We just fear,” he told the Times. “Fear the Democrats. Fear the future. Fear everything. And it works for an election cycle or two. The problem is it does real damage to this democracy. “>We have a lot of work to do to restore the Republican Party and to turn the tide on the personality politics.”

For sure, Kinzinger’s politics and views are conservative, as he outlines in a six-minute video he published when he recently launched a new political action committee advocating lower taxes, hawkish defense and social conservatism.

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The congressman, a lieutenant colonel pilot in the Air National Guard, says he has no intention of reaching out to the family members who have shunned him. “I hold nothing against them,’” he said, “but I have zero desire or feel the need to reach out and repair that. That is 100 percent on them to reach out and repair, and quite honestly, I don’t care if they do or not.”

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