On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), one of the two Republicans on the House January 6 Committee, tore into former President Donald Trump, and his own party, for fomenting paranoia about the FBI in the wake of the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago — a chorus that has been accompanied by violent attacks and threats on FBI agents.
"Do you hold the former President Donald Trump responsible for inciting his supporters?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.
"Yeah, absolutely. 100 percent, Wolf," said Kinzinger. "I posted a thread somebody put up of a number of folks on TikTok that were putting out, you know, not just anti-government, but really threats to violence, pictures of their guns saying it is time, we're coming. I mean, this is ridiculous. I mean, it is ridiculous obviously for what the former president has done in terms of saying this is an attack on my home, I did nothing wrong, and of course the little bit that we do know it seems like there is certainly at least good reason for the FBI to have done what they did. But then members of Congress, senators, you know, any Republican elected official out there that rushes to be the first on television or the first to Twitter to basically condemn the FBI."
"I mean, look, I'll tell you, as a guy that grew up in the right and grew up as a Republican, there has always been a strain of people that believe that the government is, you know, out there to get them. That the FBI represents that part of the government that is out there to get people," Kinzinger added. "This stokes that. It's really dangerous, and I fear it could get worse unless people are way more responsible."
"The New York Times is reporting, Congressman, that former President Trump tried to pass a message along to the Attorney General Merrick Garland, saying, and I'm quoting now, 'The country is on fire, what can I do to reduce the heat?' Did it strike you as odd that the man that set the fire apparently tried to ask the attorney general to put it out?"
"It is a creepy message, to be honest with you," said Kinzinger. "Only Donald Trump in his own head knows what that means. But it does strike me as something like, you know, what you hear from the mafia. If you want your store to be secure, give us money. We'll make sure you're secure, when there was never a threat in the first place. I think, look, to every Republican out there that's knee-jerk reaction is to defend this guy, I know people are frustrated that Merrick Garland did not move faster on some of the January 6 stuff and I don't think he is a man to overreact and do it too quickly. It takes a lot information for him to do that and for him to approve a raid on Mar-a-Lago, to go after what appears to be classified information, there had to be good reason, and I encourage anybody in a position of authority to take some time to figure out what this is about before you jump on the Donald Trump bandwagon on this."
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