Republican Congressman Says GOP 'Embarrassing,' Calls on Party to 'Denounce' Trump's 'Conspiracy Theories'

Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, urged the Republican National Committee to "denounce" conspiracy theories promoted by lawyers working with President Donald Trump's campaign.

Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, held a press conference on Thursday alongside lawyer Sidney Powell, who the president enthusiastically announced was joining his legal team. Powell and Giuliani raised a series of completely unfounded conspiracy theories, suggesting that Venezuela, the Clinton Foundation, billionaire George Soros, China and major cities across the country had conspired to block Trump's re-election through widespread election fraud. They did not provide any evidence to back the bizarre allegations.

After the press conference, the official Twitter account for the GOP shared a video clip of Powell speaking. The caption quoted the attorney saying: "We will not be intimidated...We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom."

Now would be a great time to denounce this, @gop how embarrassing. Our party needs to be better than giving credence to these insane conspiracy theories. https://t.co/urkllgQKJi

— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) November 23, 2020

In a Monday post, Kinzinger—who has already congratulated President-elect Joe Biden unlike many of his Republican colleagues—retweeted the GOP clip, criticizing his political party. "Now would be a great time to denounce this, @GOP how embarrassing. Our party needs to be better than giving credence to these insane conspiracy theories," he wrote.

Newsweek reached out to the RNC for comment, but it did not immediately respond.

After significant criticism of Powell and Giuliani, the Trump campaign released a Sunday statement by Giuliani and Trump attorney Jenna Ellis attempting to distance the campaign from Powell.

"Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," Giuliani and Ellis said in an official statement. "She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity."

But just over a week earlier, Trump had spoken positively of Powell joining his legal team, as they continued to push unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

"I look forward to Mayor Giuliani spearheading the legal effort to defend OUR RIGHT to FREE and FAIR ELECTIONS! Rudy Giuliani, Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis, a truly great team, added to our other wonderful lawyers and representatives!" Trump tweeted on November 14.

Geraldo Rivera, a correspondent-at-large for Fox News who calls Trump a personal friend, strongly criticized Giuliani and Powell in a Sunday interview with Fox News Media Buzz. "I felt very embarrassed watching, another old friend, Rudy Giuliani and his team, Sidney Powell and the others, in what seemed a bizarre and disconnected press conference raising allegations that were from the far side of the moon as far as I was concerned," Rivera said.

Chris Christie, the former Republican governor of New Jersey who helped Trump prep for his September debate against Joe Biden, called out the president's legal team as well. "Quite frankly, the content of the president's legal team has been a national embarrassment," Christie told ABC News' This Week on Sunday.

Kinzinger publicly expressed skepticism of Trump's voter fraud claims days after the November 3 election. "We want every vote counted, yes every legal vote (of course). But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation... This is getting insane," the Republican lawmaker tweeted.

Adam Kinzinger
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) on Capitol Hill on September 16. On Monday he urged the Republican Party to denounce the Trump campaign's "conspiracy theories" of voter fraud. KEVIN DIETSCH/POOL/AFP/Getty

Although most GOP lawmakers have remained silent or declined to discredit the Trump campaign's false claims, a number of Republicans have asserted that the results of the 2020 election are clear. Senator Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, became just the fifth GOP senator to congratulate Biden on Saturday, saying that Trump had "exhausted all plausible legal options" to contest the election results in his state.

Republican senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska had previously congratulated Biden. On Monday, Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, published an article with The Cincinnati Enquirer explaining that Trump had clearly lost the election—although he did not congratulate Biden.

"Based on all the information currently available, neither the final lawful vote counts nor the recounts have led to a different outcome in any state. In other words, the initial determination showing Joe Biden with enough electoral votes to win has not changed," Portman wrote