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New York Times: Adam Kinzinger shunned by family members for criticism of Trump

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“Oh my God, what a disappointment you are for us and for God!” they wrote to the Illinois Republican, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the newspaper, berating his “gruesome and crass accusations by President Trump.”

The Illinois Republican told CNN’s David Axelrod during an episode of the “The Ax Files” podcast released last month that he was prepared to lose his seat because of his vote to impeach Trump.

“I did it knowing full well that it could very well be terminal to my career,” Kinzinger said of his vote at the time. “But I also knew I couldn’t live with myself trying to, you know, just protect him and I just felt the one time I was called to do a really hard duty, I didn’t. did not. “

The letter comes as many Republicans who have opposed the former president, including voting for Trump’s impeachment or conviction, grapple with the fallout from their own party. The shock these lawmakers faced underscored the hold Trump continues to have on the Republican base.

CNN has not verified the authenticity of the letter and has contacted Kinzinger’s office for comment.

Kiniznger told The Times that family members who signed the letter are being “brainwashed” by conservative churches who have misled them.

“I have nothing against them,” he told the newspaper, “but I have no desire or feel the need to reach out and fix this. It’s 100% on them to reach out and fix it, and quite honestly, I don’t care if they do or not. “

Karen Otto, Kinzinger’s cousin, wrote the letter and mailed it to Kinzinger’s father – to make sure the congressman saw it – and to other Republicans across the state, The Times reported .

“I wanted Adam to be avoided,” she told The Times.

Kinzinger comes from a large family in central Illinois and his father has 32 first cousins, according to the newspaper. The congressman has previously referred to such a family backlash on his vote.

“My father’s cousins ​​sent me a petition – a certified letter – saying that they have disowned me because I am in the ‘devil’s army’ now,” he told Business. Insider last month. “It was crazy, when you have friends – that you thought were good friends who would love you no matter what – who don’t.”

CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.

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