Adam Kinzinger Accuses Mo Brooks of 'Stoking Sympathy' for Domestic Terrorists

Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, accused Representative Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, of "stoking sympathy" for domestic terrorism after the pro-Trump congressman issued a statement saying he understood "citizenry anger" after a man threatened to blow up the Library of Congress on Thursday.

Floyd Roy Roseberry, 49, turned himself after an hours-long standoff with Capitol police on Thursday. Prior to parking his truck on the sidewalk by the Library of Congress, Roseberry had posted videos online expressing anger at President Joe Biden and Democrats. As the standoff came to an end, Brooks released a statement suggesting he understood the man's frustration.

"Generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society," Brooks said. He urged supporters to use the election system to bring about change.

Kinzinger, who is staunchly opposed to former President Donald Trump and his faction of the Republican Party, blasted Brooks' statement. In an initial tweet, the GOP lawmaker retweeted the post and wrote, "Evil." He then followed up with a longer tweet, urging Republicans to make a choice.

The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth. I’ve made my decision, so has Mo. Now it’s up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs.

— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 19, 2021

"The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth. I've made my decision, so has Mo. Now it's up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs," Kinzinger tweeted.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Brooks dismissed the criticism from his GOP colleague.

"I am a candidate for the U.S. Senate. If I were to say 'I love America. We are the greatest nation in world history!', Socialists, the Fake News Media, and RINO Republicans would have a hissy-fit and falsely claim I inspire violence. Bunk. I encourage all Americans who want to know the truth to by-pass propagandists and read my tweet in its entirety," Brooks said.

"Only the illiterate, hyper-partisans, or those with a brain the size of a pea would claim I called for or sympathized with violence when my words quite clearly urge those who are angry to channel their anger into making a difference at the ballot box in the 2022 and 2024 elections," he said.

Brooks and Kinzinger represent polar opposite factions within the modern Republican Party. The Alabama lawmaker has aligned himself closely to Trump, promoting false claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" for Biden. Kinzinger has consistently pushed back against the election misinformation and lies. The Illinois congressman also voted along with nine other Republicans to impeach Trump following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Just ahead of the violence of January 6, Brooks spoke at a nearby "Stop the Steal" rally, suggesting that Trump supporters should be willing to die to keep the then president in office.

"Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass," Brooks said during that speech.

"Now, our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes and sometimes their lives to give us—their descendants—an America that is the greatest nation in the world's history," Brooks said. "So I have a question for you: Are you willing to do the same?"

"My answer is yes!" Brooks said.

Trump also spoke at the rally, urging his followers to "fight like hell" and instructing them to march to the Capitol, which hundreds of them did.

Updated 08/20/2021, 1:10 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Brooks.

Adam Kinzinger
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) speaks during the Select Committee investigation of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during its first hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on July 27, 2021. CHIP SOMODEVILLA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images