Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger suggested on Monday that Donald Trump might be experiencing a decline in mental faculties, and Kinzinger emphasized that he wasn’t using the term metaphorically.
Kinzinger’s remarks came during an appearance on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” in response to a query from the host regarding whether the ex-president’s inflammatory social media posts and public statements qualify as “political speech” safeguarded by the First Amendment, as argued by his legal team.
Cooper asked, “Do you believe Trump’s attorneys’ assertion that his previous post stating, ‘if you come after me, I will retaliate’ is simply political rhetoric and unrelated to the case?”
Kinzinger promptly dismissed the notion, labeling it as clearly unfounded. He remarked that Trump excels at articulating statements that could theoretically be interpreted in a different manner, even though the real intention is apparent.
“No, I mean, it’s garbage, obviously,” Kinzinger said, noting instances where Trump, while in a fit of anger, issued threatening statements and subtly warned about potential violence or destruction, alluding to the possibility of dire consequences without explicitly endorsing them.
Kinzinger also mentioned fabricated tweets wherein Trump lamented the state of the nation and made derogatory remarks about figures like Nancy Pelosi.
“You see that through his whole life, through his whole career. Of course, he was sitting around angry, tweeted that out, he’s mad, he’s done other things to threaten, ‘You know, boy, it’s not me, but this could turn really violent if you do this, and this is going to destroy our country,’ and not to mention all the other fake tweets he’s put out where he’s talked about like, America is going to hell, Nancy Pelosi is going to hell.”
At this juncture, Kinzinger characterized Trump’s demeanor as that of a deranged individual.
“You see a man that is literally, I think, literally losing his mind. I don’t even mean that metaphorically. I think he’s actually going insane,” he stated.
Kinzinger asserted that he doesn’t view Trump’s actions as protected political speech when he makes threats. He argued that there are individuals who might take those threats seriously and act upon them.
Kinzinger mentioned receiving messages from constituents who interpreted Trump’s words literally, feeling endangered and concerned for their safety and the safety of their families due to Trump’s statements.