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

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerTrump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged Trump endorses former aide against pro-impeachment Republican Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act MORE (R-Ill.) criticized his Republican colleagues and President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged 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." 

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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 BarrMajority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case Justice Department renews investigation into George Floyd's death: report 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. 

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On Wednesday, Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyOn The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike Hawley gets boisterous ovation at CPAC for Electoral College objection   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 SasseTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars 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.