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Former Rep. Jack Kingston, a Trump campaign advisor, is optimistic about the future of the Republican party. On DW's Conflict Zone, he denounced the attack on the US Capitol, saying "a lot of that has been misconstrued."
The Trump presidency is over, but unity between Republicans and Democrats is nowhere in sight, says political advisor, lobbyist and former Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston: "We are still very mindful of what the Democrats did to Donald Trump. They did not accept his presidency."
"The truth of the matter is, though, that there is a lot of suspicion between the parties, and bitterness," he told host Tim Sebastian on Conflict Zone.
"I know the media is obsessed with Donald Trump hatred, but can you not see that this type of discussion, this type of rhetoric has been building for years in America? It's a sad thing."
When asked about the contribution of Donald Trump — who is accused by the Washington Post of having made more than 30,000 false or misleading statements during his time in office — to that situation, he said "most people would say, 'well, that's political hyperbole.'"
"I think there's a lot of hyperbole … It's not really a lie. It's an opinion and it's an exaggeration," he later added.
Kingston said that Trump could have dealt better with the crowd that stormed Capitol Hill on January 6. "I think that a lot of that has been misconstrued. Donald Trump should have been more forceful when he said, 'go to the Capitol peacefully.' But he did say, 'go to the Capitol peacefully.'"
"I think that what these people did was absolutely outrageous. The Republican Party condemned it immediately," said Kingston.
But Kingston was optimistic about the Republican Party's future: "The party right now, I think, is in a very good position. We will sort through the, kind of, the Trump and the non-Trump types in the party."
"History shows from Bush to Trump to Obama to Clinton that the party out of power will take back the House and the Senate. History is on our side."
So is the Grand Old Party now Trump's party? "I don't believe that it is. I think we're in a kind of a big tent situation. He's absolutely one of the dynamic leaders of the party. Case in point, ten of the House Republicans who voted for impeachment now have multiple candidates running against them."
"The Republican Party is bigger than Trump, but the media isn't. The media can't get over Donald Trump."
Kingston expressed "concerns" about Marjorie Taylor Greene, the newly-elected congresswoman and conspiracy theory-enthusiast, but "you're always going to have the variety of people who say and do stupid things," he said. "But they don't rule."
Unlike some hardliners in his camp, Kingston admitted Biden won fair and square.
"Joe Biden won, I'm afraid to say, and they won it the old-fashioned way, through getting their people to the polls ... I did not like the outcome of it, but he did win it."