On Sunday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger
(R-Ill.) chastised former President Donald Trump
the same old talking points about the 2020 election
, and urged Republican leaders to tell voters
Trump repeated his grievances about losing the 2020 election and falsely blamed it on voter fraud
at his first rally since leaving office on Saturday in Ohio
Sen. Mitt Romney
(R-Utah) compared the spectacle to WWE
wrestling, calling it "entertaining but not real."
“I hope he's right,” Kinzinger said of Romney's assessment. “But there's a lot of people
I've talked to who are mad at me for just telling the truth, which used to be a pretty basic, you know, low bar, that truly believe Donald Trump was elected president again.”
“It was a loser
president rally,” Kinzinger added, “I mean, he’s the first president in decades to lose reelection.”
Kinzinger noted that Trump did not say much about the candidate for whom the event was held: Max Miller, a former White House
aide who is running against Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
for his congressional seat. Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans
, including Kinzinger, who voted to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurgency on the U.S. Capitol
While Trump did praise Miller, he spent the majority of the event falsely claiming that the presidential election
was rigged against him.
“But, again, people believe this, they really do. There are enough people, frighteningly, who believe he will be president in August,” Kinzinger said, referring to a conspiracy theory
circulated by Trump supporters
that the former president will be reinstated.
Kinzinger urged his party's members to speak out.
“If no one is taking the role of leader and leading people in a certain direction, telling them the truth when the Republic is in danger
, which it truly is right now,” Kinzinger said.
“It is past time for other members of Congress – any leader, any county official, any Republican official – to say the simple thing that Joe Biden
was elected president, and to work
against his reelection, but to stop pretending like it was stolen because that is extremely dangerous,” he added.