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Congressman would consider Air Force secretary post

'New-generation leadership would be great for it'

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger
R-16th District
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger R-16th District

If President Donald Trump were to want U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger as Air Force secretary, the congressman said he would "certainly strongly consider it."

Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and lieutenant colonel with the Wisconsin Air National Guard, said on a Fox News program April 27 that he enjoys his job, but he would be honored to have Trump call his name. Air Force secretary Heather Wilson will resign May 31.

"The Air Force is going through a lot of transition," Kinzinger, R-Channahon, said on the program when he was asked about the rumor he may be considered for the post.

"I think new-generation leadership would be great for it; as a military member myself, I understand why there's a retention issue on pilots and stuff."

Kinzinger has gained attention for his recent deployment with the Wisconsin Air National Guard along the Arizona-Mexico border.

He said he agrees with the president's decision to send more National Guard troops to the border, noting they help border patrols with logistical matters. He said the U.S.-Mexican border is reporting its highest amount of crossings.

Kinzinger supports building a wall as a boundary, because he said it will make it easier for border patrol to focus on smaller areas where drug cartels smuggle drugs into the U.S. He also supports reworking laws for asylum seekers.

"It's a massive crisis," he said.

Kinzinger endorsed Trump during a meeting with editors from Shaw Media newspapers prior to the election, but he's also been critical of the president's Twitter comments. Additionally, Kinzinger was critical of colleagues during the federal shutdown.

In December, the 40-year-old Kinzinger was one of the Republicans mentioned by colleagues as a potential retiree. He told the New York Times: “I fully intend to run again,” but conceded he takes little pleasure in being asked to account for “every tweet, every comment” the president makes.

He told The Times in Ottawa he always likes to take some time to think about re-election as the filing date gets closer.

Kinzinger's 16th House District includes Bureau, Putnam, LaSalle and Lee counties.

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