While the war of words over the impeachment inquiry into President Trump has mostly fallen on party lines, one Republican lawmaker has broken rank and called out the president for his “beyond repugnant” comments after suggesting impeachment could lead to Civil War-like divisions in the United States.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., was none too pleased with Trump with after the president took to Twitter to highlight a quote that conservative evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress made on “Fox & Friends Weekend” in which he theorized that a “Civil War-like fracture” would occur in the United States should Trump be removed from office.
“If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal,” Trump tweeted the quote from Jeffress.
The tweet, which highlighted both Trump’s close ties with Jeffress and an escalation in the rhetoric from the president surrounding the impeachment inquiry, had Trump’s critics slamming what they say is stoking violence and creating a volatile situation.
“I have visited nations ravaged by civil war. [President Trump] I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President,” tweeted Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran who served as a pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This is beyond repugnant.”
Trump’s tweet was also slammed by Democratic lawmakers, with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., calling on Republicans in the Senate to support the impeachment inquiry or condemn Trump for his comments.
Jeffress, who is the head of a 14,000-person-strong megachurch in Dallas, has a history of making controversial comments and is also closely tied to the president. The pastor has slammed the Mormon Church as a “cult,” called Christians who don’t support Trump “spineless morons,” and compared the president’s border wall to the gates of heaven because “not everybody’s going to be allowed in.”
Kinzinger’s rebuke is among the first from a Republican lawmaker since the impeachment inquiry was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., last week. Former Republican – and now independent – Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan has already voiced his support for the impeachment inquiry in the House.