Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger used a Friday morning appearance on CNN’s “New Day” to say he would “absolutely not” take a meeting offered to him by a foreign government during an election.
“To dismiss this and say, ‘Anybody would have met with anybody,’ that may be the case if you have an email that says, ‘Hey, I have some information on your opponent,’ but when you see that it is from the Russian government, courtesy of your friend Vladimir (Putin) or whatever, that’s when you hit hard stop on that.”
The Illinois lawmaker continued, “That’s when I, frankly, if it would have happened to me, I would call the FBI and say, ‘Hey, this government or that government is offering me information. Do you want me to take this meeting as counterespionage or something?’ But I certainly would not take a meeting with any kind of foreign intelligence agency.”
Kinzinger also noted that he is 39, the same age as Donald Trump Jr., whose meeting last year with a Russian lawyer who was purportedly offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Kremlin sparked an uproar this week.
“You are the same age as the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who he consistently refers to as a ‘wonderful young man,’ as if to suggest that maybe he’s not old enough to understand the implications of the meeting,” CNN’s John Berman said. “Do you think your age is an impediment to understanding that the meeting might not be appropriate?”
Kinzinger answered that his age would not impede his judgment if offered such a meeting. He did add that he was in the military and has had security clearance for “a very long time.”
When asked by Berman if military training is “required to understand that an offer from the Russian government was inappropriate,” Kinzinger answered, “Nope, not at all.”