Cruelty was rewarded in Republican primary elections, so people in the party were calling for a ban on abortion without any exceptions, said G.O.P. Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

The Illinois congressman spoke on the August 28 broadcast of N.B.C.'s "Meet the Press." Kinzinger and Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney are the only Republican members of the congressional committee investigating the violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Kinzinger recalled that many in his party, including himself and Donald Trump, had wanted to allow abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life was endangered.

But Republicans were now demanding a ban on abortion without exceptions "because somehow in the Republican party, the crueler you are, the more likely you are to win a primary," he said.

Lack of leadership

The congressman faulted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for not providing the necessary leadership. Kinzinger said, "Kevin McCarthy isn't leading. He's asking, 'What does Marjorie Taylor Greene want me to do?'" Likewise, Kinzinger said that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was more interested in the coming elections than in providing leadership.

Democracy under threat

The congressman said that the threat to democracy was the biggest problem facing America.

He added that he was willing to support "even left-wing Democrats that believe in democracy" over Republicans "who basically would overthrow the will of the people."

Without democratic government, the United States would be consumed by "a power struggle" between various racial, religious and ethnic groups. He warned, "This country can't survive outside of democracy."

January 6th Committee

The January 6th Committee was looking into the fundraising that had been carried out under the call to action "Stop the Steal," the congressman said.

Kinzinger said that the "vast majority" of the money had been obtained with no intention of using it towards efforts to stop Joe Biden from being officially declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. "It was all about just raising money," he said.

Kinzinger said he was troubled by "the hypocrisy of folks in my party" who had called for Hillary Clinton to be jailed for having deleted emails but were now defending Trump's transfer of classified documents from the White House to his home at Mar-a-Lago, in Florida.

The congressman observed that he would be "in real trouble" if he, as a congressman, removed a single classified document and refused to return it.

The Department of Justice might not bring charges against Trump for removing the documents, he said. "But this is disgusting in my mind," Kinzinger said.