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Adam Kinzinger joins CNN days after leaving Congress, sparking viral mockery: ‘Nobody saw this coming’

Adam Kinzinger has quickly lined up a new gig after concluding his tenure one of the most outspoken anti-Trump lawmakers on Capitol Hill as a cable news pundit. 

CNN announced Wednesday that Kinzinger, who officially left Congress this week after choosing not to seek reelection in the 2022 midterms, has joined the network as a senior political commentator. 

Kinzinger made his debut as a CNN contributor on “Erin Burnett Outfront.”

“Congressman, we really are thrilled to have you onboard. Welcome,” CNN anchor Erin Burnett told the ex-lawmaker. 

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“It’s great to be on the team, by the way,” Kinzinger replied. “Thank you. I’m excited.” 

Adam Kinzinger makes his debut as a CNN contributor on “Erin Burnett Outfront” just days after leaving Congress.
(Screenshot/CNN)

Kinzinger, one of the lawmakers on the House Jan. 6 Committee, was a frequent guest on CNN over the past two years, invited on-air to bash former President Trump and the majority of Republicans.

Critics have long asserted that Kinzinger’s anti-Trump commentary signaled his desire to join a liberal news network at the end of his term.

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Now that Kinzinger is CNN pundit, many mocked the not-so-surprising career move. 

“Hahahahahahaha,” radio host Dana Loesch reacted. 

“In a shock to literally no one,” political satirist Tim Young wrote. 

“Nobody saw this coming. Nobody,” Cornell Law Professor and media critic William A. Jacobson sarcastically tweeted.

Then-Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., gets emotional as he speaks during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. 

Then-Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., gets emotional as he speaks during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. 
(Oliver Contreras/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

“Was basically giving CNN his resume for the past year,” Axios reporter Tim Baysinger quipped. 

“It’s the least CNN could do after his 2-year apprenticeship there,” Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross mocked the announcement. 

“Quick turnaround,” The Hollywood Reporter media writer Alex Weprin pointed out.  

“And folks thought CNN+ was going to be rock bottom for that network,” Ruthless podcast co-host Comfortably Smug joked. 

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“Hustled out his integrity, country and voters in exchange for TeeeVeee time to sound like a random lib,” political commentator Yossi Gestetner tweeted. 

“I guess it’s nice to see someone land their dream job,” GOP strategist Matt Whitlock wrote.

“I know it’s a cliché for a lot of people to say they’re only doing this for a media contract. It also turns out to be true most of the time,” Versus Media podcast host Stephen L. Miller tweeted. 

Then-Rep. Kinzinger sitting during a congressional hearing for the January 6th Committee. 

Then-Rep. Kinzinger sitting during a congressional hearing for the January 6th Committee. 
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Kinzinger was one of the ten GOP lawmakers who supported former President Trump’s impeachment following the events of Jan. 6. 

The former Illinois representative announced in October 2021 that he was retiring though he would have faced an uphill battle for reelection due to redistricting. 

He now joins CNN’s roster of so-called “Never-Trump Republicans” including Ana Navarro, Alyssa Farrah Griffin, and former Rep. Charlie Dent. 


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