Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger has released a scathing handwritten letter he received from a number of his relatives, calling him a ‘disappointment to God’ and a stain on their family’s name for backing the impeachment of Donald Trump.
Kinzinger told the New York Times he received the disparaging note just two days after he called for Trump to be removed from office following the Capitol riots on January 6.
Penned by 11 members of his extended family, Kinzinger was accused in the letter of being in cahoots with ‘the devils army (Democrats and the fake news media)’ for publicly opposing the then-president, and requesting the 25th Amendment be invoked against him.
‘Oh my, what a disappointment you are to me and to God!’ the letter, dated January 8, begins. ‘We were once so proud of your accomplishments! Instead, you go against your Christian principals and join the “devil’s army”.’
‘How do you call yourself a Christian when you join the “devil’s army” believing in abortion!’ the note continues. ‘We thought you were “smart” enough to see how the left is brainwashing so many.’
Kinzinger’s family then go on to accuse him, and ‘many other GOP members’, of being ‘brainwashed’ by Democrats and ‘falling for their socialism ideals’.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger has released a letter he received from his family members saying he is a ‘disappointment to God’ and an ‘embarrassment’ after he voted to impeach Donald Trump
While conceding that Trump ‘is not perfect’, they tell the Congressman, ‘neither are you or any of us for that matter!’
‘It’s not for us to judge or be judged! But [Trump] is a Christian! If God can forgive and use King David in the Bible, he can do the same with President Trump.’
‘When was the last time you proclaimed your faith Adam? (Oh we forgot your [sic] now with the “devil’s army”). You won’t convince us otherwise with your horrible, rude accusations of President Trump!
‘To embrace a party that believes in abortion and socialism is the ultimate sin,’ they continued.
Kinzinger’s family go on to say they could list even more ‘grievances’ against him, but insist he is ‘not worth their time’, before proceeding the pile in on him for one and a half additional pages.
In addition to purportedly losing their respect, Kinzinger’s family say he has also lost the respect of a cohort of Fox News hosts and right-wing commentators in the process.
‘You should be very proud that you have lost the respect of Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Greg Kelly, etc., and most importantly in our book, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh and us!,’ they wrote.
The family continued that they were now most ‘embarrassed’ to be related to Kinzinger, calling him a stain on their family’s name.
‘We are not judging you,’ the family said. ‘This letter is our opinion of you!’
‘Oh, by the way, good luck in your fund raising endeavors. We are sure (we know) there are many other good GOP and Christian supporters that feel the same way we do.’
Penned by 11 members of his extended family, Kinzinger was accused by his relatives of being in cahoots with ‘the devils army (Democrats and the fake news media)’ for publicly opposing the then-president Trump, and requesting the 25th Amendment be invoked against him
The letter was signed by Karen Otto, Kinzinger’s cousin, and her husband Greg. Nine other family members also signed their names but they were redacted by the Times.
The Ottos wrote in postscript that there are ‘many more family members [who] feel the same way we do. They just didn’t have the courage to sign our letter or write their own letter.
‘Not us, we are so thoroughly disgusted with you.’
In summation, the Ottos said they are now calling for Kinzinger to be removed from office, adding: ‘I have received numerous calls concerning your actions and egregious behavior towards [Trump].’
‘President Trump has done more for the American people in four years than you, the [indecipherable] and the Democrats have done in years,’ the letter concludes.
Karen Otto told the Times that, in addition to sending the letter to Kinzinger, she also sent it to Republicans across Illinois, including other members of the state’s congressional delegation.
‘I wanted Adam to be shunned,’ she told the outlet of her reasoning.
But Kinzinger, a 43-year-old Air National Guard pilot, appeared unbothered by his cousin’s ramblings, insisting she and the others who signed the note have suffered ‘brainwashing’ at the hands of conservative churches, which have led them astray.
‘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.’
On Twitter Monday, Kinzinger did express that he was ‘sad’ over the letter, responding to a message from broadcaster Gretchen Carlson, who said such family fall outs over politics are commonplace across the US right now, writing ‘Bravery can be lonely’.
‘Thank you, @GretchenCarlson. I’m ok, more sad that someone would be willing to choose a man over family. And sad that it’s happening to so many,’ Kinzinger replied.
Kinzinger was only one of three House Republicans who voted both to impeach Trump and also strip Marjorie Taylor Greene (above with Trump), of Georgia, from her committee posts for peddling bizarre conspiracy theories
Kinzinger was only one of three House Republicans who voted both to impeach Trump and also strip Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, from her committee posts for peddling bizarre conspiracy theories.
At the beginning of the month, he also launched a new political action committee with a six minute video, insisting the GOP has ‘lost its way’ and needed to be claimed back from the likes of Trump and Greene.
‘Republicans must say enough is enough. It’s time to unplug the outrage machine, reject the politics of personality, and cast aside the conspiracy theories and the rage,’ he said.
‘The biggest danger right now is that we’ve become a party that dabbles — not just dabbles — we traffic in conspiracies and we traffic in lies.’
Elaborating on his beliefs to the Times, Kinzinger said that to successfully reclaim the GOP, he and others must expose the ‘fear-based’ tactics often used by the party to rally support.
‘We just fear,’ he told the outlet. ‘We 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.’
Kinzinger also insisted that he wasn’t deterred by the Senate’s failure last week to convict Trump for inciting the insurrection on January 6.
‘We have a lot of work to do to restore the Republican Party,’ he said, ‘and to turn the tide of the personality politics.’
Rep. Adam Kinzinger launched a new Super PAC to take Republican Party back from influence of Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene at the start of the month
While Kinzinger has drawn praise from Democrats over the last few months, he is by no means a progressive: his campaign website outlines his longstanding opposition to the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights and increased taxes. He also won his first seat in Congress on the back of an endorsement from Sarah Palin.
However, he also never presented himself as a Trump loyalist, with his criticism of the former President dating back to the 2016 campaign trail, when he was a surrogate for Jeb Bush.
Looking ahead, Kinzinger told the Times he is seeking re-election, for now, and should know by the summer whether he can remain a Republican for the long term, or whether he will have to change his party affiliation should Trump’s allies become a permanent majority in the GOP.
‘The party’s sick right now,’ he said. ‘It’s one thing if the party was accepting of different views, but it’s become this massive litmus test on everything. So it’s a possibility down the road, but it’s certainly not my intention, and I’m going to fight like hell to save it first.’