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Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Photo by Hudson Institute/ CC BY 2.0

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) on Monday said Donald Trump's latest reported effort to cling to power was "nuts."

According to the New York Times, Trump met with former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Friday to float the idea of appointing former campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, who has pushed baseless QAnon conspiracies and lies of election fraud, to serve as a "special counsel overseeing an investigation" into the latter.

Flynn, whom Trump pardoned in late November for lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia, has pushed the idea of Trump using martial law to retain power.


"At one point in the meeting on Friday, Mr. Trump asked about [the idea of using martial law]," the Times reported.

"I think it's nuts," Kinzinger told CNN on Monday, referring to the meeting. "I think there's a lot of people that don't necessarily understand what martial law is. They know it basically sounds ominous. Martial law is basically the federal military coming in and suspending the authority of state or local governments."

He continued, "Beyond the insanity of [saying] the election was stolen -- 'we can't prove it, we just know it' --- the idea of sending the military in to rerun it would be a massive, massive red line. I'm certain the president won't do it, but I think it's certainly worth talking about because people around him are advocating for it."

Kinzinger also railed against the disinformation surrounding the election, much of which has been fueled by Trump himself.

"The idea John Roberts yelled at the entire Supreme Court and forced the real conservatives to vote against the Texas [lawsuit], a total lie, total fabrication but most people believe it's real," he said of a Texas lawsuit seeking to throw out results in four states, which the Supreme Court rejected on Dec. 11.

"The problem is so much misinformation is thrown out constantly that you lose track of what you ever believed," he added. "You forget if anything's ever debunked and you're always on to the next piece of misinformation to the point where you believe, somehow on Jan. 6, the U.S. Congress can overthrow the results of an election."

Trump has patently refused to accept his election loss since the election, and has since launched sweeping attempt to undermine the election results in hopes of overturning that defeat.

Thus far, Trump and his allies have lost at least 59 legal challenges rooted in baseless allegations of voter fraud.

The Trump campaign's latest attempt includes filing a petition with the Supreme Court to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania.

Trump has also posted over 300 tweets or retweets containing unfounded voting claims in his continual efforts to undermine confidence in the election process and vote tallies he lost, the New York Times noted two weeks after Election Day.


GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger on CNN_12-21-2020 from The American Independent on Vimeo


For his part, the White House occupant has insisted he did not back any idea of using martial law, tweeting on Saturday that reports on the matter were "fake news."

"Just more knowingly bad reporting!" he wrote.

One of Trump's own former staffers, meanwhile, has said that even the "mention" of martial law by Trump's inner circle could spark violence with his base.

"When they hear that the president is actually considering this, there are violent extremist groups that look at this as a dog whistle, an excuse to go out and create ... violence," Elizabeth Neumann, Trump's former assistant secretary of Homeland Security, told CNN.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.