Matt Gaetz Shares Tweet Suggesting Adam Kinzinger Had Payback Motive for Turning on Trump

After another local GOP organization voted to censure Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger over his support for Donald Trump's impeachment, one of the congressman's Republican colleagues highlighted an excerpt from the group's announcement in a social media post shared later.

Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, a conservative currently serving his third term in the U.S. House, did not offer an explicit opinion about Kinzinger's impeachment vote, although he appeared to back the Will County Republican Party's suggestion that it was a retaliatory move.

"We witnessed the support and then subsequent bashing of President Trump, after he refused to appoint Kinzinger as the Secretary of the Air Force," read a quote from the Will County GOP's censure rationale, which Gaetz reprinted in a tweet Sunday morning. The Republican group announced its decision to censure Kinzinger, and explained its reasons for doing so, in a statement to Patch.

“We witnessed the support and then subsequent bashing of President Trump, after he refused to appoint Kinzinger as the Secretary of the Air Force," Will County's GOP announced. https://t.co/D6hPNeGH86

— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 21, 2021

"Rep. Kinzinger's feelings about former President Donald J. Trump is well known," the statement claimed, calling the congressman's push to impeach him for his role in the January 6 Capitol attack "the last straw."

Kinzinger, who began his sixth congressional term this year, was one of just 10 Republicans to cast votes across the aisle when the House impeached Trump for a second time the following week. The impeachment formally advocated for Trump's early departure from the White House for alleged "incitement of insurrection," a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted by the Senate.

Kinzinger is a military veteran and continues to serve as a member of the Air National Guard. He publicly expressed interest, Defense News reported, in fulfilling the Department of Defense's Air Force Secretary position in early 2019, but Trump did not appoint him to assume the role. The congressman periodically criticized the former president's actions throughout his time in Washington.

Most of the House Republicans who voted in favor of Trump's most recent impeachment have since faced backlash from others within the party. The Will County GOP's censure declaration was the second of its kind targeting Kinzinger in the vote's aftermath. Earlier in February, the La Salle County Republican Central Committee voted to censure him for standing against the former president. La Salle County is located in Illinois' 16th congressional district, which Kinzinger has represented in the House since 2013.

Kinzinger responded to the Will County GOP's censure announcement on Twitter Sunday.

"The problem with your #censurefrenzy and your 76 million vote figure I that 82 million voted differently and we live in a country that respects that. Thanks for playing though," the congressman wrote.

He reacted to Gaetz's tweet with a GIF from Marvel's Captain America.

Newsweek reached out to Gaetz and Kinzinger's offices for additional comments, but did not receive replies in time for publication.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz shared a tweet that seemed to back the Will County Republican Party's vote to censure fellow Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois, on Sunday. In the photograph above, Kinzinger questions witnesses during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on September 16, 2020 in Washington, D.C. KEVIN DIETSCH/Pool/Getty Images