Rep. Adam Kinzinger tore into Sen. Josh Hawley for his 'smug' CPAC speech, saying 5 people died because of 'what you did'

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Sonam Sheth
·3 min read
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Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger in July 2011. Harry Hamburg/AP
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger ripped into Sen. Josh Hawley for his "smug" CPAC speech.

  • "All you had to do was see Josh Hawley's smug face at CPAC," Kinzinger said on CNN's "New Day."

  • "There are five people dead, two that took their own life on top of that, as a result of what you did," he said.

  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tore into his Senate colleague Josh Hawley on Tuesday over the latter's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.

"All you had to do was see Josh Hawley's smug face at CPAC as he stood in front, you know, getting this adulation from the crowd about how he, you know, 'You might have seen I rejected the -'" Kinzinger said on CNN's "New Day" as he recounted the Missouri Republican's remarks.

"And everybody's - and he's out there, like, feeling great about it. Like, there are five people dead, two that took their own life on top of that, as a result of what you did," Kinzinger added. "It was embarrassing for us around the world."

He went on to say that it had been "difficult for me to talk to other countries about how to do democracy in the wake of" the insurrection. Kinzinger tacked on sarcastically, "But as long as you're the most important thing and you can run for president, that's great."

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Hawley was one of several Republican senators who objected on January 6 to Congress' formalization of Joe Biden's election win, citing unspecified and unfounded allegations of widespread voter and election fraud. Hawley has drawn sharp criticism amid allegations that he was a driving force behind the Capitol siege that left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

Hawley is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, who was impeached by the House of Representatives in January on a charge of incitement of insurrection. Among other things, the nine Democratic impeachment managers accused Trump of whipping his supporters into a violent frenzy by spending months spreading lies about the integrity of the election and urging them during a rally to march to the Capitol and "fight" against the finalization of Biden's win.

Kinzinger has been criticized by his own party since he joined nine other House Republicans in voting to impeach Trump. The former president is said to be sharply focused on seeking vengeance against the GOP lawmakers he believes were disloyal by voting to impeach him or to convict him.

During his "New Day" interview, Kinzinger said he didn't think that "people like Hawley" would be serious contenders for the 2024 Republican nomination.

"I actually have an optimistic view of the future of the party, which I know is kind of hard to imagine now. But I hope we get some answers today, and we need a dose of humility too," he said, referring to FBI Director Christopher Wray's scheduled hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the insurrection and its aftermath.

"I'm sure he'll run," Kinzinger said of Hawley. "And, you know, because he - what is it, what do they say, like, the old joke for senators, you know, what most senators say when they look in the mirror in the morning: 'Good morning, Mr. President.'

"And he certainly is one of those," he added. "Since he's gotten in, he thinks he can entertain and adore crowds. And it works. Look, the base loves him."

Kinzinger said that while he is as conservative as Hawley, "the difference is I'm not going to use the Constitution as a prop to get elected and violate the Constitution as a prop to get elected."

Read the original article on Business Insider