Kinzinger: It's 'hypocritical' for GOP to defend Trump taking classified documents

Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
(Image credit: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on Sunday he finds it "hypocritical" that Republicans who lambasted Hillary Clinton for using a private email server when she was secretary of state are now defending former President Donald Trump and his decision to take classified documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home.

During his 2016 presidential campaign rallies, Trump and his allies routinely mentioned Clinton and the server, which led to chants of "Lock her up!" An investigation by the State Department into the matter found there was "no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information."

The FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, and on Friday the FBI released the heavily redacted affidavit that was submitted with the search warrant application. It states that earlier this year, 184 documents were returned to the National Archives from Mar-a-Lago, including 25 marked as top secret. The property receipt from Aug. 8 says FBI agents removed 11 additional sets of classified material from Mar-a-Lago, including top secret information.

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Many of Trump's GOP supporters have brushed aside the seriousness of Trump taking the classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, and Kinzinger, who is not running for re-election, called them out during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "The hypocrisy of folks in my party that spent years chanting 'Lock her up' about Hillary Clinton because of some deleted emails or, quote/unquote, 'wiping a server,' are now out there defending a man who very clearly did not take the national security of the United States to heart," he said.

The Department of Justice will decide "whether or not that reaches the level of an indictment," Kinzinger continued, but it is "disgusting in my mind. And no president should act this way, obviously."

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