Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, warns of violence as President Trump tries to overturn the election. | Screen grab of CNN’s “State of the Union”
Kinzinger is one of the few Republicans to speak out against the conspiracy theories Trump embraces and claims the election was rigged. WASHINGTON – Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Sunday he’s concerned about “people being driven to violence” as President Donald Trump, frantically trying to overturn the election, urges his backers to demonstrate when Congress counts electoral college votes on Jan. 6.
The claims of Trump and his supporters about the election is a “grifting scam,” Kinzinger said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
There is one final step to locking in Joe Biden as president, and that is when, at the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, the electoral college results are tallied.
With Trump intent on staying in power, this won’t be a routine session.
Trump is lobbying Republicans in the House and Senate to contest the electoral college certification. Biden has collected 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
Using his powerful and persuasive Twitter feed, Trump has been focusing on people and institutions who refuse to help him stay in office while tainting Biden as an illegitimate president-elect.
In the past few days, Trump has attacked Senate Republicans, the Supreme Court, the FBI and the Justice Department.
What is alarming is Trump’s encouragement for his supporters to hit the streets.
The day after Christmas Trump said in a tweet, “The “Justice” Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.”
Kinzinger, whose 16th congressional district is south and west of Chicago, is one of the few Republicans – in Congress and in Illinois – to speak out against the crazy conspiracy theories Trump embraces and to stand up to the propaganda spewed by Trump and his allies that the election can be reversed by Congress.
On CNN on Sunday, Kinzinger told host Dana Bash, “This is a scam, though, I mean, you know, to explain to people that somehow Congress can overthrow the certified results of every state, that we can change an election outcome when there was not a single court case that had any legs.”
Rather, some members of Congress, the president and what Kinzinger sarcastically calls “thought leaders” on Twitter are “raising money on this scam.”
“It is a scam; it is going to disappoint the people that believe this election was stolen, that think this is an opportunity to change it,” he said. And instead of being disappointed in Trump et al who led them on this “grifting scam,” the Trump backers will blame it Republicans who would not go along with Trump’s schemes.
Bash asked Kinzinger if he was worried about what Trump may do in his last days in office.
“I’m concerned, to an extent about Jan. 6, because if you convince people that, you know, Congress can change a legitimate election and everything was stolen.”
Driving this, said Kinzinger, who has taken on a role as a conspiracy debunker, are “deep state” and “QAnon theories, which is that it’s Satanist pedophiles that run the government. You could see people being driven to violence, so I’m concerned about that.”
Last Tuesday, Trump threatened to veto the bipartisan $900 billion COVID relief and government funding legislation. He complained about foreign aid funding – not in the COVID bill – and said a $600 COVID payment many would get should be $2,000.
That’s great. Democrats are for it. But a do-over is impossible without the backing – so far not coming – of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The federal government is only funded through midnight Monday. Jobless benefits ran out for millions of people on Saturday.
Since Tuesday, Trump has not done much to lobby the GOP Senate to resolve the crisis he created with his veto threat. People, impoverished by the pandemic economic collapse, desperately need the COVID legislation financial help.
Trump’s lobbying focus is on Jan. 6. “Time for Republican Senators to step up and fight for the Presidency,” he said in a Saturday tweet.
The vice president usually presides over the electoral college count joint session.
Whether Vice President Mike Pence plans to show up to gavel Trump out of the White House is not yet known.
Several GOP members are expected to object to electoral college swing state votes costing Trump a second term. These Trump loyalists will create fireworks – since there has to be debate and a vote over each objection – but no fire. Biden will be the next president.
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