Donald Trump Delights in Censure of 'Horrible RINOs' Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger

Former president Donald Trump has praised the Republican National Committee for censuring two GOP lawmakers for their participation on the committee investigating the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The RNC voted to censure Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at a meeting in Salt Lake City on Friday and accused the lawmakers of taking part in a "Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate public discourse" in the censure resolution.

In a statement on Saturday, Trump congratulated the RNC for the ruling and described Cheney and Kinzinger as "two horrible RINOs [Republicans In Name Only]."

"Congratulations to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and its Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, on their great ruling in censuring Liz Cheney and Cryin' Adam Kinzinger, two horrible RINOs who put themselves ahead of our Country."

He added that the lawmakers "have almost no approval ratings, and the Republican Party would be far better off without them!"

Cheney and Kinzinger have been contacted for comment.

The lawmakers, both outspoken critics of Trump, earlier hit back at the RNC for characterizing the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters attempting to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden's election victory as "legitimate political discourse."

"This was January 6th," Cheney said in a tweet alongside footage from the riot on Friday. "This is not 'legitimate political discourse.'"

Kinzinger tweeted a CAPTCHA image using a picture from the riot that asked viewers to "select all squares with legitimate political discourse." The congressman tagged House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, writing: "What do you say Kevin?"

Kinzinger, who has chosen not to seek reelection in the midterms later this year, said on Thursday: "I have no regrets about my decision to uphold my oath of office and defend the Constitution. I will continue to focus my efforts on standing for truth and working to fight the political matrix that's led us to where we find ourselves today."

Meanwhile, several prominent Republicans excoriated their party for the censure, including Sen. Mitt Romney.

"Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol," he tweeted on Friday. "Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost."

Romney voted to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials. McDaniel is his niece.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski tweeted that what happened on January 6 last year "was an effort to overturn a lawful election resulting in violence and destruction at the Capitol."

She added: "We must not legitimize those actions which resulted in loss of life and we must learn from that horrible event so history does not repeat itself.

"As Americans we must acknowledge those tragic events, and we cannot allow a false narrative to be created. We cannot deny the truth—to suggest it was 'legitimate political discourse' is just wrong."

Former US President Donald Trump gestures
Former US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix, on January 15, 2022, Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images