Now-former House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming blasted President Trump and his “enablers” within the GOP, telling “Special Report” in a wide-ranging interview, that the former commander-in-chief is acting in a “dangerous” manner by “perpetuating lies” about the 2020 election being stolen from him.
She also responded to criticisms from Republicans like Texas State Land Commissioner George P. Bush – the nephew of the namesake former president and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – who criticized her ahead of the vote.
Cheney was stripped of her 3rd-ranking House GOP leadership position in an unrecorded voice vote Wednesday. Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York and Charles Roy of Texas are seen as top contenders in a forthcoming replacement vote.
During the interview, anchor Bret Baier asked Cheney whether she could understand why her party wanted new leadership in the HRCC position – which entails fundraising and communications strategy and leading conference meetings.
“Could have you done that job considering what you were saying and doing?” he asked, noting how her vociferous critique of Trump was being seen as divisive in a party that wants to unite against the far-left swing of the federal government under Joe Biden.
“I think the question is what kind of a party are we going to be going forward, Bret,” she replied. “I think it’s very important for us to be a party based on truth. I think it’s important for us to understand the threat that the claims the former president is making.”
“The threat is ongoing.”
Cheney said Trump’s language has been the direct cause of violence – accusing him of fomenting the rage that was seen in rioting that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
She said that his strong insistence that Biden is the benefactor of a “stolen” election is a foundational lie that has enveloped the party’s collective mindset.
“There is clearly an attempt to unravel the democracy, if you will, by focusing on challenging the legitimacy of the election… abandoning the rule of law,” she said. “I think for us as Republicans, we have a huge set of issues we have got to be able to defeat the Democrats over.”
“We have to get people to vote for us. And we can’t do that if we are a party that’s based on a foundation of lies. I think what the former president is doing is dangerous,” she said.
Baier noted other Republicans’ criticisms that Cheney is focusing on Trump which takes energy away from focusing on Biden.
“We have had a real focus on making sure people understand that the Biden policies are dangerous,” the Wyoming lawmaker replied. “If you look at the impact for the people of Wyoming: banning oil and gas leases on public lands is really dangerous and really heartless. We have been very clear about that. What’s happening at the border is very dangerous.”
She urged select Republican leaders to stop being “willing to … sit by silently [and] enable” Trump’s rhetoric.
Cheney continued, commenting that Wyoming voters respect the Constitution as she does and largely hold the same conservative ideals – and that without “learning the lessons” of 2020, the GOP will likely fail to defeat the Democratic Party’s grip on power.
“The issue isn’t whether or not we stand against the Biden policy, the issue is are we going to be a party that sits by silently while the former president continues to perpetuate lies about the election.”
Cheney told Baier she did not vote for Biden, and that she has nor ever will vote for a Democrat officeholder.
When top Democrat Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Nancy Pelosi of California praised her stance within her party, Cheney told Fox News the issue at hand regarding Trump is more important than party affiliation.
Later, Baier read a tweet from George P. Bush, the Texas official and descendant of the two former Presidents Bush:
“Republicans deserve leadership that represents the views of their constituents not their own personal vendettas. We need leaders in Congress that stand up for conservative Republican ideology. Liz Cheney is not that leader,” Bush said.
“So, instead of training fire on the president she should have been training fire on Biden and that agenda. That’s what you want out of your leadership and unfortunately she didn’t rise to that challenge.”
Cheney dismissed Bush as “misinformed.”
“I think when you look at what we are facing as a nation, there is nothing that we need to do as Republicans that is more important than have a strong Republican Party that can attract back the voter we lost in 2020,” she said.
“That means that we have to be in a position where we are being here. We stand for the rule of law.”
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During the interview, Cheney also denied that she is running for president in 2024.
However, in the wake of Cheney’s ouster, 100 Republicans, including former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, former Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, have threatened to create a new Republicanesque Party that would be at odds with the Trump-influenced one as of late.