Former US President Donald Trump is “winning” because the GOP has “remained silent,” says a top critic of the billionaire businessman, whose supporters are staging the “Justice for J6” rally.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger made the comments in a video statement on Twitter despite the fact that the GOP and even the former president himself refused to fully endorse the protest at the US Capitol in support of those arrested during the Jan. 6 demonstration.
His statement was a reaction to a decision by another anti-Trump Republican, Rep. Anthony Gonzales, not to run for reelection under pressure from the former president, who rallied his supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the victory of now-President Joe Biden.
“A couple days ago, my friend Anthony Gonzales announced he won't run again, and now the pundits and politicos are discussing whether this means that Trump won,” Kinzinger said. “So, let me answer this question—yes, as of now, Trump is winning,” he continued. “Not because Anthony decided not to run, but because so many in the Republican Party decided to stay silent.”
The future of the GOP is on the many Republicans who have remained SILENT in the attack on our democracy. A video statement: pic.twitter.com/9KDwQmw6wt— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) September 18, 2021
This is while Trump refused to make any notable reference to the Saturday protest by his supporters, who are calling for the release of prisoners, locked up due to participation in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol in his favor.
The “Justice for J6” rally has failed to garner any support from Republicans, including far-right House representatives, none of whom have announced any plans to take part in the protests.
GOP leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, was among those refusing to either condemn or endorse the rally, only asserting that the police are “well equipped to handle what may or may not occur.”
Security has been beefed up in the Congress premises, where Trump supporters gathered to stage the J6 protest.
Since Jan. 6, Democrats have been arguing that the protest was an insurrection based on disinformation spread by the former president, alleging that he was the true victor of the 2020 presidential election and not Biden.
“We've got this element in American society that is embracing violence to promote a lie,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a member of the House select committee investigating the insurrection, said earlier this week. “And, unfortunately, we have elected political leaders and former elected political leaders that are promoting the same lies.”
With Republicans put in an increasingly awkward position amid the J6 rally, Kinzinger suggested that it was time for other Republicans to come forward in defense of anti-Trump figures such as Gonzales, both of whom joined Democrats in favor of Trump’s impeachment.
“Ten of us voted to impeach Trump 180 remain silent and now it's their turn,” Kinzinger said. “When we all publicly take sides, then we can answer the question, once and for all, whose party is this.”
"Justice for J6" rally organizer Matt Braynard: "There are uniformed officers here whom I demand you respect, you're kind to, you're respectful to and you're obedient to. They're here to keep us safe and we're counting on them to do that." pic.twitter.com/qhpg1K402k— The Hill (@thehill) September 18, 2021
The conservatives’ awkward position was also evident in the stances taken by the J6 organizer, Matt Braynard, who called on Trump supporters to “respect the law enforcement,” unlike what happened on Jan. 6.
“There are uniformed officers here whom I demand you respect, you're kind to, you're respectful to and you're obedient to,” Braynard told rally-goers. “They're here to keep us safe and we're counting on them to do that, and we know that they will.”