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Kinzinger: No way to defend Moore

Adam Kinzinger
Adam Kinzinger

The local congressman is mincing few words in his denunciation of Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers decades ago.

Many Republicans are asking Moore, a Republican, to withdraw from the race if the allegations are true, but Kinzinger, R-Channahon, left out that qualification.

"Roy Moore needs to step aside now. These allegations are disgusting, and I believe them," Kinzinger said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper late last week. "There is no way to defend this. Secondly, I think the Senate should say they refuse to seat him or expel him if he is elected."

Kinzinger said it is "beyond the pale" for Moore to have allegedly had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s. Moore has denied the allegations, questioning why women have come forward with accusations so many years later.

On CNN, Kinzinger said the timeline is irrelevant, noting the Alabama candidate was an adult.

In the same interview, Kinzinger said he had long been suspicious about President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Recently, allegations appeared in the media that Flynn and his son were offered millions of dollars by the Turkish government to kidnap a Turkish cleric whom Turkish leaders believed caused a coup.

"I wasn't a huge fan of Michael Flynn from the beginning," Kinzinger said on CNN. "In early interviews, I said he was the one administration pick I worried about."

He said Flynn's failure to disclose his lobbying ties to the Turkish government was "at some level" a federal crime.

In another CNN interview over the weekend, Kinzinger said it is unfortunate that Trump said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. That comment, Kinzinger said, overshadowed Trump's otherwise good trip to Asia.

Administration officials said Trump is trying to find areas of common ground with Putin, such as in Syria and North Korea.

"Admitting Russia meddled in the election is essential to a working relationship. Republicans will be victims of this too," the congressman told CNN. "(Putin) is trying to undermine America."

He said he had a hard time seeing how the United States has much in common with Putin, especially in Syria.

Kinzinger has represented the 16th Congressional District, which includes La Salle County, since 2013. He earlier represented the 11th District before redistricting.

Kinzinger stopped taking direct questions in public from constituents earlier this year, but he is a familiar face on the cable news circuit in Washington.

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