CHICAGO (CBS) — In the days before the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger warned GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy that spreading lies about presidential election fraud would lead to violence.
In a tweet posted Monday morning, Kinzinger (R-16th) said he was ignored.
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A few days before Jan 6, our GOP members had a conference call. I told Kevin that his words and our party’s actions would lead to violence on January 6th. Kevin dismissively responded with “ok Adam, operator next question.” And we got violence.
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) May 10, 2021
In the days after the November presidential election, House Minority Leader McCarthy echoed President Donald Trump’s false claim that Trump won the election.
“President Trump won this election, so everyone who’s listening, do not be quiet,” McCarthy said on Fox News two days after the vote and before President Joe Biden had been declared the winner. “We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes.” McMarthy also voted against certifying the election on Jan. 6 as protesters began to mass around the Capitol.
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Whipped into a frenzy at a Trump rally behind the White House, thousands of pro-Trump demonstrators marched on the Capitol to stop the electoral vote count presided over by Vice President Mike Pence. As the broke into the Capitol, lawmakers and Pence evacuated.
Five people died as a result of the siege, including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick.
On Sunday, McCarthy formally threw his weight behind Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York in her bid to replace Congresswoman Liz Cheney as the third-ranking Republican in the House.
Cheney has been a vocal critic of Republicans who support the “Big Lie”–the false claims that Trump actually won in November. Sefanik is also peddling that lie.
Cheney, who joined nine other House Republicans in voting to impeach Mr. Trump for incitement of the insurrection on January 6, has urged the GOP to banish the former president from the party due to his role in the Capitol assault and for continuing to perpetuate the lie that President Biden did not legitimately win the 2020 election.