The two Republicans who sat on the Democratic-led House Jan. 6 Committee are now out of Congress amid acute backlash from within their own party.
Speculation has swirled regarding what former Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) would do after being voted out of office and opting against running for another term, respectively.
While Cheney’s political future remains uncertain, recent reports indicate that Kinzinger landed an on-air gig at CNN. Over the course of more than a decade in the House, the Illinois Republican established a generally conservative voting record before emerging as one of his party’s most vociferous critics of former President Donald Trump.
His status as an anti-Trump Republican was apparently attractive to CNN, which offered him a position as a senior political commentator.
In a lawsuit against the cable news network filed last year, Trump outlined a pattern of negative coverage about him. The $475 million defamation suit asserted that CNN was involved in an attempt to derail any political campaign he might choose to launch in the future.
Weeks later, he announced his 2024 presidential campaign.
It remains to be seen how CNN will choose to cover Trump’s candidacy, but Kinzinger has made it clear that he believes Trump has irrevocably damaged the GOP.
In a farewell speech last month, he lambasted his own party, asserting: “Our leaders today belittle and in some cases justify attacks on the US Capitol as ‘legitimate political discourse.’ The once-great party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan has turned its back on the ideals of liberty and self-governance. Instead, it has embraced lies and deceit.”
CNN personality Erin Burnett made Kinzinger’s new position official on Wednesday when she introduced him during a segment.
“He is appearing tonight in his new role, which is senior political commentator,” she said. “Congressman, we really are thrilled to have you here on board.”
Kinzinger replied: “It’s great to be on the team, by the way. Thank you. I’m excited.”
A number of his critics reacted to the news by suggesting that it was appropriate for him to land at the left-leaning network.
In the least surprising news ever, Adam Kinzinger has joined CNN as a pundit.
So basically, he has the same job he’s had for the past two years with even fewer people watching.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 5, 2023
As Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross wrote: “It’s the least CNN could do after his 2-year apprenticeship there.”