ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-16th) spoke with actor Chris Evans and Mark Kassen, of A Starting Point, about domestic terrorism, extremism in the military, and the future of the Republican party.
In the 11 minute interview, Kinzinger touched on issues such as the US Capitol riot and the ideologies and conspiracy theories that led to it, he said:
“I feel like, with the past president, you’ve given license for some of that to be okay to say, whether he intentionally did it or not, who knows? When you say things like ‘the people on both sides’ of the debate for Charlottesville, for instance. You say things like, ‘I don’t know QAnon, I don’t know anything about them, but I know they like me.’ When a leader begins to reflect the darkness back to people – everybody, in your heart, there’s always a battle of dark versus light everyday – but when a leader speaks that darkness to you and gives it permission to overtake you [it leads to violence].”
The congressman was at the capitol when the riots broke out on January 6. He had called the experience traumatizing, saying at one point he barricaded himself in his office because he feared for his life. In a prior interview, Kinzinger said he saw ‘pure evil that day and says he’ll never forget it.
Kinzinger was one of only 10 Republicans to support the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.
After the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, 11 members of the Kinzinger family sent a handwritten two-page letter, saying he was working with “the devil’s army” for his public break with the president.
Kinzinger was also named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2021.