Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger face planted on CNN Friday in a fruitless effort excuse the role of President Donald Trump’s inciteful anti-Muslim rhetoric in the New Zealand mosque shooting that killed 43, saying that the U.S. president is blameless because Hitler caused the Holocaust.
Host John Berman kicked things off by asking the congressman if he agreed with Trump and his anti-immigrant base that the U.S. and western nations were facing “an invasion,” noting that the shooter’s manifesto used similar language. Kinzinger said he’d never used such language personally, but Berman pressed the issue.
“I’m telling you what these people are seeing. We’re not showing this manifesto, but the title of it is ‘The Great Replacement,’” he said. “Where did we hear ‘replacement?’ heard it in Charlottesville when those white supremacists were chanting ‘Jews will not replace us,’ people the president called very fine people.”
“Twitter is everywhere, television is everywhere, people hear this,” Berman added. “If you are a monster and you hear the president of the United States say that what are you supposed to do?”
“I’m not defending all of the president’s language on this stuff. What I am saying is if you look at the Holocaust where six million Jews were killed and Hitler basically brought a whole group of people into evil thinking to do what they did,” Kinzinger replied, “that was way before President Trump.”
“This disgusting animal is evil,” he went on. “If President Trump’s language triggered him, that wasn’t intentional, that wasn’t President Trump triggering. This is a disgusting person who deserves, I think frankly, to die.”
Watch the video below.