Former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) described Republicans as “too timid” in politically combating Democrats and the broader left, telling Breitbart News that politics “is a substitute for civil war.” He spoke with Breitbart News Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight.
Democrats and their news media allies seek to destroy people’s reputations and finances via partisan political weaponization of the law, said Kingston.
“They’d love to pull his army out from under him,” said Kingston of political moves to apply legal and financial penalties to President Donald Trump’s staffers and supporters. “During the campaign, when the Access Hollywood tape emerged … I had friends calling me as a Trump surrogate and as a volunteer saying, ‘You’ve gotta get away from him. He’s bad news. You do not want your name tarnished with Donald Trump.’ These were friends, but that’s what Trump enemies are doing. They’re planting those seeds out there to say to people, ‘Hey, don’t get near that administration. They’re all gonna wind up in jail.'”
Kingston continued, “Sean Spicer and I have been friends for 20 years. I knew Sean when he was a congressional staffer. You don’t make a lot of money working in the White House. You do it because you love it. You do it because it’s a great honor, and a guy like that now has to turn around and potentially spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills on top of a salary that he was making when he was in the White House. Normal people just don’t have that kind of money. So if they can bankrupt people and say, ‘Look, if you go into the White House, we’re going to sue you, and … we are going to make you spend thousands and thousands of dollars, and you won’t go on to have a career because nice play-by-the-rules Fortune 500 companies aren’t going to hire you, because you will be considered tainted because they called you up before Congress about something.'”
Mansour noted news media’s role in hyping allegations and innuendo to destroy people’s reputations. “You have to defend yourself,” she said. “You have to hire lawyers to do that, and your name is being dragged through the mud. The media likes to report, ‘So and so is charged or subpoenaed, or brought before Congress.’ It sounds very ominous and threatening, so people just want to run from that. They don’t want to be associated with it.”
Kingston explained, “When you see the White House team on television at night, whether it’s General Kelly or Kellyanne Conway or Mick Mulvaney, their salaries are actually capped at around $160,000 a year. That’s a lot of money, but it’s not a lot of money if you’re working 70 hours a week, if you’re at the top of your law school class or in business, and you’re living in a very expensive city called Washington, D.C. So most of the people you’re watching that are the key players — and this is true if it’s a Democrat or Republican administration — they could be making a heck of a lot more money outside of what they’re doing, outside of the White House, but instead they’re hanging in there because they believe in it. So you say to those people, ‘Look, in addition to this you’re now going to have to hire a lawyer and pay for it personally, and you don’t get a reputation when you get out that’s worth cashing in on. Nobody wants to hire you.’ So absolutely that’s part of their strategy.”
Mansour asked if Republicans erred by not pursuing investigations of corruption allegations against both Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“During the 2016 election, one of the big chants was, ‘Lock her up,’ and we were talking about Hillary Clinton,” recalled Mansour. “A lot of people were really disturbed by the revelations in Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash, about all of the gaming of our political system with the Clinton Foundation, and the pay-for-play, and all of that. Do you think the GOP made a mistake in not doing more investigations — specifically on Clinton Cash — and basically looking at the real corruption with the Democrats, and with Hillary Clinton, in particular?”
Kingston replied, “Yes. I think that our party constantly thinks that if they play nice, the Democrats and the press will back off, and the Democrats and the press will like them, and be kind, and I think that we have to understand this is a substitute for civil war. The other side is playing to win. Winning means ruling. It means calling all the shots, and it is very worth fighting for ideologically. It’s our vision of America versus their vision of America, and I think when Republicans get power, we’re just too afraid and we’re just too timid.”
“That’s what I love about Donald Trump,” Kingston added, “and I’m sure your listeners do, too, is that he is not timid. But I think we made a huge mistake right after the election in November of 2016, Paul Ryan should have called in his chairman and said, ‘Look, first day of Congress , we’re going to have an infrastructure bill. First day of Congress we’re going to do a repeal and replace of Obamacare. First day of Congress we’re going to put a tax bill out, and he should’ve said, ‘This is what we’re going to do.'”
Kingston concluded, “And I can tell you that’s what Newt Gingrich did in 1994 when we won the majority for the first time in 40 years. He said, ‘We’ve got to get this Contract with America done in 100 days, because in Washington, D.C., things bog down.’ And I think what happened, instead of running through an agenda in early 2017 after Trump took over the White House, our House members sat back and waited for Trump to lay the tracks, and it’s a good thing, but we should’ve just been jumping out there, saying ‘Look, we’ve got a lot things to do, and one of them is going to be investigating Clinton Cash.’ We could’ve done it.”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.