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Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s relatives excoriated him as “a disappointment to us and God” and “an embarrassment” to the family in a scathing two-page letter hammering the congressman over his criticism of former President Donald Trump.
“Oh my, what a disappointment you are to us and to God!” the letter, which Kinzinger first discussed in an interview with Insider’s Anthony Fisher and was shared in full with The New York Times, began. “We were once proud of your accomplishments! Instead, you go against your Christian principles and join ‘the Devil’s army’ (Democrats and the news media).”
Kinzinger, who has represented Illinois’ solidly Republican 16th congressional district since 2013, has made waves as one of the most vocal and forceful critics of Trump beginning during Trump’s presidential campaign.
Kinzinger was one of just 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting the January 6 insurrection, and one of 11 to vote to strip far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments in a February 4 vote.
After stating they believe Trump will be forgiven the God, the letter from Kinzinger’s relatives said: “It is most embarrassing to us that we are related to you. You have embarrassed the Kinzinger family name.”
Karen Otto, Kinzinger’s cousin who spearheaded the letter signed by 11 other family members, told The Times that she spent $7 to send the letter via certified mail to make sure that he saw it, adding that she wants to see Kinzinger “shunned.”
They sent Kinzinger the letter after he called for Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment over the Capitol insurrection.
—Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) February 15, 2021
Kinzinger, for his part, believes his family members have been subject to “brainwashing” by their churches.
“I hold nothing against them,” he told The Times, “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.”
With Trump out of office, Kinzinger told both Insider and The Times that his goal is to heal the Republican Party, including through a new PAC supporting anti-Trump Republicans.
“The party’s sick right now,” Kinzinger told The Times, saying, that he plans to “fight like hell to save it first” before he would consider disaffiliating himself from the GOP.
But as The Times noted, Kinzinger could see himself drawn out of his district in upcoming post-2020 redistricting by Illinois’ Democratic-controlled state government. Illinois is one of several Midwestern states expected to lose a congressional district following the 2020 census.
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