MS. ALEMANY: Good morning, everyone. I’m Jackie Alemany, the author of The Washington Post early morning newsletter Power Up. Thank you so much for joining us this morning prior to the start of the impeachment day two.

My guest today is a Republican who actually voted to impeach Donald Trump, one of ten, he has said that his party may need an "intervention of sorts"--his words--to move away from the darker aspects of the Trump presidency. I want to welcome Congressman Kinzinger. Thank you so much for joining us today, Congressman. I want to jump right into things.

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, you bet. Thanks for having me.

MS. ALEMANY: So there seems to be unanimous agreement that Trump's lawyers, particularly Bruce Castor flopped yesterday, GOP senators, and the arguments that they presented. Yet, only six senators voted in favor of proceeding with the constitutionality of the trial. What does that say to you? In other words, are these Republican senators actually acting as impartial jurors?

REP. KINZINGER: Probably not. I don't think that comes as much of a surprise. I think, you know, a lot of them have their mind made up. So, the politics of what's going on, sadly, I think is outweighing the understanding that there's massive constitutional implications for this. So, Senator Cassidy gets a lot of credit for actually looking at the arguments and saying they didn't make an argument, so I'm going to proceed. Doesn't mean he's going to vote to remove. But, you know, I certainly hope that these senators--and of course it won't be all of them--but take a look at this and, you know, to know what they lived through, know what's being presented and actually make an impartial decision. Because history, you know, has perfect 20/20 hindsight, and they're going to have live with whatever they do.

MS. ALEMANY: Well, and like Senator Cassidy, I imagine you faced similar backlash. The Republican Party in Illinois actually voted to censor you. Can you talk a little bit about the political implications and why you think the historic, moral, and ethical implications outweighed that for you in terms of when you were making that calculus behind that decision?

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, so it's been interesting. The Illinois Republican Party actually backed off censure but put out a statement. I had a local county party that censured me. And I think the word censure really doesn't have a meaning anymore. I mean, it's like the new thing. It's like, you know, if you go outside of whatever orthodoxy we determine is the orthodoxy today, we're going to censure you. And it's amazing because I've actually been pretty consistent in what I believe.

So, look, I think in the calculation in doing it, you know, you always have everybody that's been through political science class knows, there's a debate between are you supposed to do what the district wants or are you supposed to do what your conscience says. And I think it's both. And I think especially on an issue like this, when it comes to impeachment, you have to do--look, out of 750,000 people I represent, only one has to take an oath to defend the Constitution in this capacity, and that's me. And I think what that says intentionally is that we have a unique responsibility as members of Congress to take tough votes in a time like this. And so, I looked at, you know, obviously what happened on the 6th and said if that's not impeachable, then we may as well just get rid of impeachment, because then nothing is.

And whatever the consequences are, it's the right thing to do. You know, the bottom line, I don't need the job. I enjoy doing it. You know, I'd like to win again. But if I don't, I can look at myself in the mirror and I'm at total peace.

MS. ALEMANY: So, what do you think needs to happen for more Republican senators to potentially change their mind and vote to convict Donald Trump? Is there any particular evidence that you think needs to be seen, any witnesses that we need to hear from in order for them to change their minds?

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, I don't--I just don't know. I think, you know, I've heard rumors of new evidence. I don't know if that's been presented or if it's true. That could be maybe compelling. I'm not sure if they have any, you know, details about what Donald Trump was saying, et cetera. You know, there's great--the officers that were involved, I wish they could have a few of them testify in the Senate and just talk about what they saw. I've become pretty good friends with Officer Fanone, who was the one that was dragged down the stairs and he heard people say, "Kill him with his own gun." And you know, it's a horrible story. And to hear him tell it, I mean, this guy tends to be Republican, but to hear him tell that story, you realize this is real. It's not a false flag operation. And there was real evil that day. And so, I think people like him that can kind of tell firsthand would be good, and may have an impact. But the bottom line, I think we've tribalized so much in this country that regardless of what you believe, you just pick a tribe and you stick with them. And that's what we have to break through.

MS. ALEMANY: Yeah, and you are exactly right. We have reporting that there is going to be new evidence being shown by the House Democratic impeachment managers today. But did Officer Fanone mention to you whether or not he'd be willing to testify?

REP. KINZINGER: No, we haven't had that conversation. And I'm sure if he was called in, he would. But you know, there's, what, 1,600 officers between D.C. Metro and Capitol Hill that could go in and talk about what they've seen. All of it is terrible. But you know, I just think hearing that perspective, because a month later we're sitting here and almost in the immediate hindsight of history, for some reason, there's some that go, "Ah, it wasn't really that bad. I mean, yeah, it was bad but not really that bad." Well, no, this was terrible.

And for those that tried to, you know, put an equivalency to what happened in the summer, I condemned the riots in the summer. I actually was activated with the Air National Guard to go work these riots. But it's very different than what happened, because you could burn down an entire city, but democracy would hold. This was a threat on the very foundation of democracy. Democracy held, but it could have gone a different way.

MS. ALEMANY: And do you believe someone like Mark Meadows or Pat Cipollone, someone who was potentially in the room with President Trump on January 6th as this pro-Trump mob siege was taking place on Capitol Hill, should feel some sort of duty to testify and provide an eyewitness account to how the president handled the events as it unfolded? Because that seems to be something that, you know, his defense team at least has skimmed over so far.

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, they have. And I mean, I think that would be valuable insight, because if they can come and honestly say, look, President Trump was concerned and did everything he could to defend the Capitol, that's one thing. I don't think that was the case because they would be saying that.

You know, we talk about all this issue of the National Guard and activation of the National Guard and there's all this discussion about the layers of approval that have to go and some questions there. The reality is this: If the president would have gotten on the phone as the commander in chief and said I want to see, you know, the fastest we can get Guard troops here, I want them here, it would have happened. And all those bureaucratic layers would have been cut out.

So, yeah, you know, in terms of a duty to do it, it's always been interesting to me. There are really great people that have served in the Trump administration, and a lot of them come out and then tell their story. But as long as they have favor with Donald Trump, they don't and they wait till they're out of favor, and then that gives, you know, some Donald Trump supporters the ability to say, well, they're just, you know, sour apples, sour grapes. And it would be nice to see somebody that has immediate information come out and talk.

Because, again, the weight of history on this is massive. And as a Republican, I look at this and go--and as an American--let's say a Democrat does this exact thing some time, or another Republican. But let's just use the example of a Democrat. Anybody that was in office now that didn't speak out about it, you have lost all your moral authority. You've lost your moral authority to be outraged and opposed to it. And what I worry about is anything that happens becomes precedent, and we end up with a presidency that can do things like this. And obviously, that would end the constitutional republic as we know it.

MS. ALEMANY: And before we get to the op-ed that you wrote for The Washington Post a few days ago, I want to ask one more question about the trial. And we saw yesterday at one point Trump's lawyer Bruce Castor argued that the Senate should not go forward with the impeachment case, saying that if you actually think President Trump committed a crime, the Justice Department can go and arrest him. They know what to do with such people. Do you think that Trump committed a crime? Should he face criminal charges?

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, look, I think if he did and he can be prosecuted for it--look, I'm not a lawyer, so what the threshold is, I don't know. And I also don't know if you commit an act as president how that works in the post. But yeah, certainly, if there is a prosecutable crime that a president did, he should be--I mean, nobody should be above the law. Nobody should be treated differently. And certainly--and members of Congress that, you know, incited this, there is some protection we have in terms of speech and debate on the floor of the House. But I think as a country a broader discussion is, you know, we're all about the First Amendment and free speech, but we all know that you can't yell fire in a theater. And what point have we crossed into that? I think if we haven't, we're really close.

MS. ALEMANY: Yeah. And then on this issue of sort of some of your peers potentially having some culpability here, you just wrote an op-ed for our paper where you said convicting Donald Trump is necessary to save America. Who are you speaking to, the hundred senators sitting as the jury, or the Republican mainstream, or voters?

REP. KINZINGER: It's kind of everybody. But the immediate audience is the senators, to say, look, you got--this is in your hands now. I mean, especially if you're--look, you should never use politics on a decision like this. This exceeds it. But especially if you're a senator and you're four or six years away from election and you somehow think that in four or six years, you know, this is going to be--it's going to be more popular to have an insurrection? I think you're wrong. But, yeah, that's the immediate audience.

The rest is the audience of the Republican Party, because that is my goal, to save that, because I think it's important to have a normal Republican Party, and to the American people. But the problem is, as a Republican, there's only been one person out there speaking and defining the party really for four years. I've said a lot, but a member of Congress can't compete with the president. So, I think there needs to be a stronger and more unified voice presenting the counternarrative now.

MS. ALEMANY: Is that your way of saying that you're potentially considering running for president in 2024?

REP. KINZINGER: No, that's not what I'm saying, but I'm saying there's--you know, I'm the only one with a voice right now that's willing to say some of the things. I mean, there's others of course, especially the other nine that voted to impeach. But the reason I've decided to be so aggressive is because somebody has to. You have to present that competing vision of Republicanism to people.

MS. ALEMANY: Yeah. And a part of this effort that you're mounting, you've also come out with a new super PAC, an effort called Country First. Can you talk a little bit about this?

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah. So, it was really interesting. It actually started not from any desire to create a movement and to create a PAC and/or to fundraise. It was just, I was sitting around. When I saw the trend back to Trump--right?--after the insurrection--and I was throwing my hands up--I said I want to do a video that just gives the rich history of the Republican Party, the immediate garbage which we've been ascribing to recently, and where we can go.

And so, I created this video and decided just to do a landing page with it, and it took off, blew up. So, it's with a 1, "1-S-T". But I encourage people to go watch the video. It's not partisan. It's just saying, look, here's a real--I use the crude analogy of it's Sunday morning after a Friday night bender, and we have two choices. We can have a bloody Mary and feel better but have to face the consequences later, or you can actually do the introspective look into your life. And that's what I want people to do. So, this thing blew up eight days ago, and we're now putting the finishing touches on what this movement's going to be and we'll announce that at some point. But it's been incredible.

MS. ALEMANY: And who's the first Republican that you plan on potentially challenging in the 2022 midterms, or supporting that challenge with the super PAC efforts?

REP. KINZINGER: Oh, there's a huge list. And--but I think it's going to be--

MS. ALEMANY: Who's at the top of the list?

REP. KINZINGER: I mean, look, all you have to do is see people like, of course, Marjorie Taylor Greene. You look at people like Matt Gaetz, who know better. I think neither of them believe the stuff they ascribe to. They just want fame. And so, then you have to look at all that stuff and say, okay, can they defeated? Who are opponents that can actually run against them? And I don't want to engage in races and lose because it's a bad narrative too, but I want to give support to people on local levels even, people running for mayor, state reps, et cetera, and just simply say this. Like, I don't care what you believe as long as you believe it, it be pro-life, pro-choice, pro-gun, anti-gun, right? We've gotten into too many you have to be this or this. I just want you to tell the American people the truth, and I want you to not peddle in conspiracies and use some optimism occasionally. That's a pretty low bar, but it's a low bar that eliminates a lot of people.

MS. ALEMANY: Yeah. And you know, as we've seen, that sort of rhetoric and that propagating of those conspiracies and sort of this online donor outrage culture is pretty successful at raising a lot of money. So, you know, these Trump-type candidates will likely have an advantage in small dollars. And how do you make sure that you're funding these candidates who are potentially mounting a challenge through the primaries? How much money have you raised so far? Is that something that you can reveal?

REP. KINZINGER: No, I'm not going to reveal the number yet. That'll come eventually. But I think it's blown away any expectation I've ever had of what this could do. And what that shows me is just that pent up demand for something. And so, my hope is to be able to equalize that disadvantage that some candidates may have. But the reality is the American people have to actually reject it too. You know, if you're a Republican or a Democrat or whatever, and you can get an email that says send me five bucks because otherwise your whole family is going to, you know, die, or this country's going to end being this country, those kinds of outrageous things are actually said on fundraising emails. And they're really compelling, because fear compels people to action. It's actually the most primal instinct, and it's the thing that can drive people. The problem is 10 or 15 years of--which is what we've had--of using fear as a way to raise money eventually has a detrimental effect on a democracy. You've lost faith in the institutions. You've lost faith in even things like churches, families, because we've reflected fears back to people.

So, the answer is not necessarily that some optimistic message is going to be just as compelling to fundraise, but eventually that fear message is going to wear thin. And people need to remember that they live in a fantastic country. And when people come and tell you that everything is going to end and this country's terrible, that inoculation, that vaccine to that fear, is hope. And if you give people enough hope, I think fear ceases to be the compelling factor in American politics.

MS. ALEMANY: And I'm wondering, you're obviously trying to tackle this problem from the outside, from a more political perspective. But you've been very critical of House Leader Kevin McCarthy. You've said--who initially was critical of President Trump for his reaction to January 6th. He said that he bared responsibility, but since then has sort of, you know, changed his posture, has also supported Marjorie Taylor Greene and hasn't condemned her forcefully enough, I believe is what you have said. Why not try to change things from the inside and consider potentially, you know, trying to run for a leadership position? Is that something that you have thought about, would you--or supporting a new House GOP leader?

REP. KINZINGER: So, I don't have any interest in running for leadership, because with leadership now comes just fly around the country and fundraise the whole time, and that's not my desire. You know, I want to try to change a narrative. In terms of Kevin, look, I have sympathy for where Kevin's at in that he's trying to unify a party that I don't think can be unified right now. The visions have gone too far apart. It's one thing if it used to be, hey, we need to take the people who that are supportive of abortion rights and those opposed and try to find a way ahead. But what we've turned into is, is this a party that swears allegiance to a Constitution or to a man? And those are not reconcilable. So, Kevin may be trying to do his best, and I appreciate that. But to turn to Donald Trump and say, well, he's got the immediate fundraising base, and so I'm going to lead the party as a leader back to Donald Trump is where I have to take a stand and say no. And I'll stand up in opposition of that any day. It doesn't mean I don't like Kevin. It just means I don't want this party to be Trump's party. And if that's the only vision that's presented, that's the way it's going to go. So, I'm going to do my best to do other.

I don't think we need to go, you know, into removing Kevin McCarthy or anything like that. They tried to do that with Liz Cheney, and she won obviously a massive, big victory. That was enough a blow to the insurgent caucus, as I call them, which unfortunately is becoming more of the mainstream Republican Caucus.

MS. ALEMANY: But what does it say about the party when someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene garners more support from your peers than Liz Cheney?

REP. KINZINGER: It shows it's broken. And it's not just--it's not a matter of brokenness of the supporters. Look, the people that voted for Donald Trump, and even those that support Marjorie Taylor Greene, they've been misled. You know, when you have conspiracy theories that come out, if you're told that Satan is running the government and you believe it, it sounds ludicrous to us. But if you actually believe that, then everything that follows is not illogical. I mean, if I actually knew--believed that Satan was running the government, I'd be taking very different steps that I am now. And so, we have to recognize that and understand that we have to present both a pulling people out of brainwashing but also showing that alternative vision. And for five years or four and a half years since Donald Trump has been the heir apparent to the presidency, we've had one voice--with few exceptions--but one voice that is telling people what to believe, and eventually they're going to believe it. And that's what happens.

So, I think it's telling that the party's broken right now and in a bad place and that there's no time like now to fight for that soul of the party, because we're going to get--every day we get closer to the next election, and then the next presidential election. And there's always a reason to put off the inevitable fight that needs to happen, but it needs to happen now.

MS. ALEMANY: And just to put a button on this, so do you think that McCarthy can be an effective Republican leader still?

REP. KINZINGER: You know, it's going to depend where he goes. Yeah, for some of the membership of the House GOP, he is, because they want to be the Donald Trump party. You know, I'll respect him. I'll listen to him. But I'm also understanding that my vision is going to compete with him at this point. I want a Republican Party that we remember not going back to the old days but the part about the inspiration. And so, I don't know if anybody at this moment could unify or really be effective. But, you know, certainly I'm going to do my best to present an alternative vision while trying to work with him, because I like him. I think he means well. I just think it's a really almost impossible task.

MS. ALEMANY: And you know, a substantial part of the Republican Party, though, still believes that Joe Biden did not win this election fairly, according to polls at The Washington Post and other outlets have recently conducted. There is, you know, a constituency that does believe in QAnon and some of these more extremist, far-right views. Have you considered forming a new party altogether?

REP. KINZINGER: So, I don't think that's what needs to happen. I mean, the Republican Party's been around forever and I think it's going to be around forever. We've gotten into this thing where it's basically a two-party system. So, my hope and goal is to fight for the soul of it now. I think you see even--you know, it's been a month, right? You see a little movement in the polls. And I think after impeachment is done, you have a rally around the flag thing kind of going on now, people will get bored of Donald Trump. They'll get tired of him and they'll move on. And the question is, what vision do they turn to? Do they turn to Donald Trump Jr., or some version of Donald Trump, or do they turn to somebody inspirational? That's a decision for them. That's where the competition of ideas has to come in.

But the bottom line, if it continues down this path, you know, for the future without any correction and it becomes obvious that there will be no course correction for the Republican Party, it would be hard to consider myself a Republican going forward for the basic reason that I support the Constitution over a man, period.

MS. ALEMANY: So, does that mean potentially in 2022 that you would consider not running for reelection?

REP. KINZINGER: No, you know, look, I--in terms of a reelection, whenever anybody says, you know, on February 6th or whatever date today is, when they say, hey, I'm going to run for reelection for next time, it's like I don't think you should be saying that because how do you know what's going to happen in 10 months? How do you know if you're going to be the best person for that in 10 months? So, I always make the decision, you know, just prior to polling, petitions. But I'll tell you, my intention is not to give up. It's to fight for the soul of this party. I think way down the road if it gets to the point where the party's gone, I'm certainly not a Democrat, then I think other decisions have to be made. But my hope and belief is we're not going to be at that point.

MS. ALEMANY: Has this--has this been worth it, the price that you have paid so far, or have you mostly received positive feedback? I know in the op-ed that you said that you received a lot of support and thanks from your constituents and voters and America. But what about the other side of that?

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, so it's interesting. Has it been worth it? A hundred percent. You know why? Not because of necessarily the reaction. It's been worth it because I've been able to sleep at night. I know that I took the right vote. I don't intend to be in politics in 50 years. You know, I know that I'll have a life and a job after this. And so, this is isn't the end all, be all. So, I don't sit around scared about what this means for my political career. If it's the end of it, okay. I'll go, you know, probably work less, make more money, hopefully. That's my hope, right? But so, there's no fear in that.

I actually was watching something even last night about, you know, these politicians in Iraq that put their lives on the line to stand up against the Iranian militias, for instance. And I'm like, wow, that's courage. You know, we think, oh, no, I might get a primary. That's not courage, right? What's courage is putting your life on the line, which some have in other countries. So, you know, look, the bottom line, I have no regrets.

In terms of the other side of the coin, yeah, there's people that are really upset, mostly in the base. And I think we make a mistake if you talk to a member of Congress and say is your base--is your district mad, they'll say, yes, it's mad. But reality is, their district may not be mad. It's their base that's mad. The base isn't the district. The base can help you get through a primary, but the district is the 750,000 people, not the 45,000 that vote in a primary. And I think we have to kind of regauge how we're looking at this, not at the representative of the Republicans in the 16th in Illinois but the representative of everybody, including the people that ran against me that were mean to me.

MS. ALEMANY: I'm wondering who you think is the voice of the Republican Party right now. Is it Donald Trump, or Kevin McCarthy?

REP. KINZINGER: Look, I think right now the voice of the Republican Party is Donald Trump. I mean, I think, you know, the fact that he doesn't have Twitter has been, like, an amazing blessing and probably added five years to everybody's life. But he's certainly the spokesman. And that's because there's no alternative. I mean, if you look at the structure of the RNC, what changed recently? Nothing. Same leadership. By the way, we lost the House. We didn't win the House back. We lost the House under Donald Trump. We lost the Senate. We lost the presidency. Yet somehow, we're on this magic tour of taking back the majority? I don't understand it. And that's where I think we have to have real talk, which is, okay, we had a good election in 2016. Great, we won. But we lost by the same margin, actually a bigger margin, but on the electoral count by the same margin that was considered a landslide in 2016, which in 2020 is considered stolen and super close. But that's a problem.

And going forward, if we think excommunicating people like me, a real conservative that actually believes conservative things and doesn't want to destroy this country with demonization and division, if you think I don't belong in the Republican Party, you've got to pick up a lot of Proud Boys and white supremacists to make up for the people that I represent in terms of philosophically, which we've already started to lose in this party.

MS. ALEMANY: And it's interesting, because the GOP traditionally, historically has been about law enforcement and the party of national security. How do you reconcile sort of the endorsement and the fostering of these far-right extremist groups with that tenant of the party? How do you get back to a place where, you know, that's what the GOP is known for and actually acts on it?

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, so that's what's interesting. And what's why I think also, you know, if there could be an officer or two to testify in the Senate would be great, because, you know, I mentioned Officer Fanone tends to be a Republican. He's not--he doesn't go out there in campaign, but, you know, tends to vote Republican, as a lot of officers do. He said it was quite a juxtaposition while he's getting beaten within inches of his life, he's getting tased, he's hearing people say shoot him with his own gun, and he also sees, you know, thin blue line flags and blue lives matter. And he's like, blue lives didn't matter that day. He saw people that called him obviously unthinkable names, and he was--you know, as a man, this is a tough thing, especially as a police officer--he fought like hell, but eventually had to beg for his life by talking about his kids. I mean, that is a position nobody should be in, but especially for a police officer. And that's the party that supposedly is pro-law enforcement. I think we are pro-law enforcement. But that's something we have to reconcile, not by trying to paper it over and pointing to the summer and say that the Democrats aren't pro-law enforcement. That's an argument that's never going to win anybody over. By looking in the mirror and saying, man, we do have an ugly side to us that we need to fix.

MS. ALEMANY: And what happens if Trump is acquitted? What happens to the party?

REP. KINZINGER: I don't think it's any change. I think--I think we all kind of assume he's probably going to be acquitted. I think it's important to see how many Republicans vote for this. Only Donald Trump would be the kind of person that could be impeached twice and would see that as a badge of honor. He's uniquely qualified in that case. And I think back to the old stories of Richard Nixon the day before he resigned. And some people thought he was suicidal because of how embarrassed he was. And so, you know, where do we go? I think he gets acquitted. And I think there will be a momentary kind of Trump is back thing, but I think that wears off. And that's my hope.

MS. ALEMANY: And I want to get to an audience question before we wrap up that kind of gets at, I think, one of the core problems that the party is facing, which is really the information crisis, when you have a growing constituency of people who are buying into Trump's false claims about election fraud and Marjorie Taylor Greene-esque conspiracy theories and QAnon. Ellen Rusten from Michigan writes if you think that the Fairness Doctrine could help limit the spread and damage of conspiracy creators and disinformation.

REP. KINZINGER: Yeah, that's a good question. And I'm not sure if the Fairness Doctrine's the place to do it, or Section 230, or what it is. I don't know. I know that--by the way, politicians will often say we need to have a discussion, and that's a way to--and I do it sometimes, too--to push off an inevitable answer. But the truth on this one is, we need real discussions, real hearings, real exploration into what can be done so where we protect free speech rights but we also recognize when something crosses into yelling fire in a theater. You know, when I have hangman's nooses replies to my tweets, you know, or when Parler was around, just direct straight up death threats, and there was organization of how to attack on January 6th, that is not protected speech. That cannot be protected speech. So whatever venue that takes--and we've already begun kind of exploring that. I'm working with Tom Malinowski in New Jersey. He has something he's looking at that we're going to kind of work together on. So, whatever that is, we have to be serious about it.

But I'll tell you, the last thing I'll say on that is--because this could be a whole three-hour discussion--it takes the American people taking responsibility, too. I'm still a conservative in that I think the government is not the answer for everything. And while there is a role in this case for the government, individual responsibility's important. If you've seen the Netflix one, Social Dilemma, you know, that talks about how people get pulled into a rabbit hole, I encourage you if you haven't watched it. This AI behind social media has--for the first time ever, we've created something outthinking our own brains, and so we get sucked in. Particularly if you think of our parents' generation, you know, social media's relatively new. They're especially susceptible. We have to take individual responsibility. If something just confirms what you believe and seems outrageous, there's a 99 percent chance it is completely utter BS. So, you've got to know that and defend your own integrity.

MS. ALEMANY: Yeah. I was thinking this morning as I was drafting some questions and looking over some of the materials my team provided, and you know, we have called you an establishment Republican. And was wondering if, you know, that's just what we call Republicans now who don't propagate conspiracy theories. Or do you think there's a better term?

REP. KINZINGER: I think that's--I think you're right. You know, I've been called establishment, you know, before by some on the extremes, and I laugh. I'm like, well, I've never been sworn into this mysterious establishment. But I also think that the establishment is now Donald Trump, so now I get to be the insurgent. And you know, look, there's no doubt. What's a better word for us? Probably just mainstream conservatives, you know, or truth telling conservatives, or country first conservatives. with a 1, by the way. I think that's the way--I think that's the way that we should want to be described. It will depend how--what you guys end up choosing as the moniker.

MS. ALEMANY: Well, that's really all the time that we have this morning. Thank you so much, Congressman Kinzinger. I really appreciate your time. Stay safe out there.

Please join us, all of our viewers, at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow when my colleague Jonathan Capehart is going to interview historians Ibram Kendi and Keisha Blain discussing their new anthology of the past 400-year journey of African Americans. You can always head to the to register and find more information of upcoming programs. Thanks again for joining us. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week.

[End recorded session.]