GOP lawmaker criticizes Trump, colleagues for 'trying to discredit' the election

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerKinzinger defends not supporting voting rights act: 'Democrats have to quit playing politics' Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases Illinois Democrats propose new 'maximized' congressional map MORE (R-Ill.) criticized his Republican colleagues and President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE for what he said were attempts to discredit the 2020 presidential election results. 

In a video entitled, "Courage over Conspiraces," Kinzinger said, "The President does not want to admit defeat and nobody would. But he's currently trying to discredit the election results through falsehoods and conspiracies." 

"As someone trusted to lead, I have a choice," he continued."I can be quiet and try to survive by taking the easy path. Or I can speak up and lead without concern for the consequences." 


The lawmaker explained the dangers of how fast what he described as misinformation can travel quickly in political discourse dating back years. He stated, "As public servants we have a responsibility to serve in good faith," despite political outcomes. 

Trump and several GOP lawmakers have claimed that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread voter fraud. However, federal election officials as well as former Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ Five takeaways: Report details Trump's election pressure campaign Biden slips further back to failed China policies MORE have said there is no evidence of widespread election fraud in the presidential election. 

Following the election, the Trump campaign also mounted several legal battles in battleground states to contest the election results including in Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania. These lawsuits have been largely unsuccessful. 

Kinzinger said Republicans who have given credence to those claims "know it's not true" but "fear their next election." 

"A snowball of self-protection has grown rapidly," Kinzinger, a critic of Trump and his allies, said. 


On Wednesday, Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyPentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability Biden's push for unity collides with entrenched partisanship The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike MORE (R-Mo.) joined some House Republicans stating that he would contest the results of the 2020 election once the Congress meets Jan. 6 to officially finalize the results. 

"Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard," Hawley said in announcing his objection. 

Kinzinger warned that actions like this put the integrity of future elections in danger. 

"We were sent to lead regardless of our preferred outcome and we must lead," Kinzinger said. "This will start a terrible cycle where every election must be objected to and eventually we will lose our ability to self govern."  

Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseInvoking 'Big Tech' as an accusation can endanger American security Biden slips further back to failed China policies The Memo: Generals' testimony on Afghanistan hurts Biden's credibility MORE (R-Neb.) on Thursday rebuked his fellow Republicans who have indicated they will back contesting the election results.

"Let’s be clear what is happening here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage," he said on Thursday.

"But they’re wrong — and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government."  

Updated 12:58 a.m.