As Rep. Liz Cheney went down to a heavy defeat in Wyoming’s House Republican primary Tuesday night, her fellow GOPer on the House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot lamented that some of Donald Trump’s supporters see the former president as the son of God.
“I’m going to say this as a Christian myself, the pastors — many pastors in this country are failing their congregation,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told MSNBC as the polls closed in the Cowboy State. “Not even just by, you know, pushing kind of Trumpism from the pulpit, but even refusing to talk about how bad it is, how corrosive it is.
“And you have people today that literally — I think in their heart, they may not say it — but they equate Donald Trump with the person of Jesus Christ,” Kinzinger added. “And to them, if you even come out against this amazing man, Donald Trump, which is obviously quite flawed, you are coming out against Jesus, against their Christian values. And when you go after their religion, that violates the depth of who they are.”
Kinzinger and Cheney were two of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year on a charge of inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Eight of those lawmakers have either announced their intention to retire from Congress or lost to primary challengers.
Cheney was beaten in her nominating contest by Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman, who defeated the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney by more than 37 percentage points.
Trump has repeatedly labeled Kinzinger a “RINO” — Republican in name only — and publicly supported the Republican National Committee’s decision to censure both him and Cheney.
Kinzinger is not running for re-election this fall and has stood by his criticism of the 45th president despite backlash from his party and threats against his family.
“I’ve been kicked out of my tribe,” he told MSNBC Tuesday night, adding, “That’s okay.”