GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois claimed Monday that his own party’s leadership in the House of Representatives had ignored his concerns about violence ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Mr. Kinzinger, a high-profile critic of former President Donald Trump, made the admission during a discussion at the National Press Club on the “future of the Republican Party.”
“I was on a phone call with [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy and the Republican conference a couple of days prior to Jan. 6,” Mr. Kinzinger said. “I said, ‘Kevin with all this, basically BS, we’re saying we can make sure the election isn’t certified, that it was stolen, etc. … I’m really, really concerned about violence on Jan. 6.”
The Illinois lawmaker said the “response” he got from Mr. McCarthy, a California Republican, was “basically that cricket sound” before someone else was called on to speak.
Mr. McCarthy‘s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this year, thousands of supporters of Mr. Trump stormed the Capitol complex in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 election’s Electoral College vote. That riot resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.
Mr. Kinzinger, who voted to impeach Mr. Trump for allegedly inciting the incident, said he was first tipped off the situation could turn violent a few days before the certification was to take place.
“I had said on a few media outlets that I was very concerned about violence on the sixth because I looked at Twitter,” the congressman said. “I saw the threats against me.”
Mr. Kinzinger further argued that House GOP leaders, including Mr. McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, have downplayed the riot in order to keep Republicans united.
“I was very disappointed when my party’s leaders, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise in particular, decided that winning the next election … was more important than a clear-eyed recognition of what happened,” he said.