HOUSE Republicans Wednesday ousted Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post because she continues to challenge former president Donald Trump over his false claim that the presidential election was stolen.
Soon after, several GOP members spoke up to minimize the actions of pro-Trump rioters who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6., an event that led to deadly clashes with police and threatened the orderly certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.
Taken together, the events Wednesday offered the clearest sign yet of how far Republicans are willing to go to support or tolerate Trump’s lies about the election as well the degree to which many members are trying to rewrite the history of Jan. 6 to erase the former president’s culpability.
“It’s official- Liz Cheney has been fired from House Leadership and I was proud to vote against her,” Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Tex.) wrote on Twitter.
Cheney, 54, has called her decision to publicly fight Trump a matter of principle, warning that allowing him to falsely claim that the election was stolen amounts to an attack on Democracy and is destructive to the GOP and its values.
“If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person; you have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy,” Cheney told her colleagues Wednesday morning before ending her remarks with a prayer, according to a person familiar with her remarks who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks. “But I promise you this, after today, I will be leading the fight to restore our party and our nation to conservative principles, to defeating socialism, to defending our republic, to making the GOP worthy again of being the party of Lincoln.”
Inside Liz Cheney’s plan to take on former president Donald Trump
House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), have said that her fights with the former president have become a distraction and that she should not serve in a leadership position in which the job is to unify the party as it seeks to combat Biden’s agenda and win back the House in the 2022 midterms.
We, as a conference, must remain focused on stopping Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s socialist agenda. We stand with hard-working Americans,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) wrote to colleagues Wednesday. “I want each of you to take a leadership role in exposing the magnitude and devastating details of the Democrats’ socialist plan.”
The day also produced a muddled message about what moving on will mean for the party and to what degree Trump will be willing to forget the past and embrace GOP leaders’ plan of winning over voters with a focus on the future.
“Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being. I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party. She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country,” he said in a statement.