Rep. Adam Kinzinger Friday, while calling the murders of 49 Muslim worshippers at two New Zealand mosques "the pure epitome of disgusting evil," pushed back hard after he was asked about a manifesto one of the killers wrote that reportedly included a brief mention of praise for President Donald Trump.
"Any time somebody of faith is targeted for any reason, it's disgusting," the Illinois Republican told CNN's "New Day." "When I say thoughts and prayers are with these folks, I mean it. We need the God of the universe to step in and change people's hearts."
However, when show anchor John Berman asked Kinzinger about the manifesto, Kinzinger said nobody can put the deaths on Trump, who quickly put out a message condemning the shootings.
"I don't know what a sick man that would kill 49 people innocently was thinking," said Kinzinger. "I don't have any idea what was in his mind. I know this. It cannot be connected...this is an evil man that made a decision to murder 49 people. And that is on him. Frankly, the evil in his heart."
Berman asked about Trump's use of the word " invader," a word also used in the manifesto, and asked if such language should be avoided, and Kinzinger insisted the president is not at fault.
"I'm not defending all of the president's language on this stuff," he said. "This disgusting animal is evil...this is a disgusting person who deserves, I think, to die. I'm not sure what his future is in New Zealand."
Kinzinger added that he doesn't think Trump should use words like "invasion and hordes,", but "that doesn't mean he can't be passionate about the fact that he wants to stop illegal immigration."