Liz Cheney hinted that Trump and Kevin McCarthy may have talked about setting their stories straight on the Capitol riot

Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney.

  • Fox’s Chris Wallace suggested that Trump and McCarthy may have spoken about coordinating their stories on the Capitol riot.
  • Rep. Cheney suggested that McCarthy was withholding information about his conversations with Trump.
  • Cheney was ousted from her GOP leadership role last week for refusing to back Trump’s election-fraud claims.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Liz Cheney has suggested that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was withholding important information about the GOP leadership’s response to the Capitol riot.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, Cheney suggested that McCarthy knew more than what he was letting on.

Wallace first showed a clip from an April 25 interview in which McCarthy denied having a conversation with Trump to match their stories about a call they had on January 6.

In February, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler confirmed reports that McCarthy told Republicans that when he told Trump to call off the rioters, Trump replied: “I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” McCarthy walked back those claims in the April interview.

When asked by Wallace if she knew anything about the subsequent phone call, Cheney said on Sunday: “He [McCarthy] clearly has facts about that day that an investigation into what happened, into the president’s actions, ought to get to the bottom of.”

“And I think that he has important information that needs to be part of any investigation, whether it’s the FBI, the Department of Justice, or this commission that I hope will be set up.”

“Any conversations that have gone on with the president about the president’s potential involvement in January 6, his potential determination not to step in and offer assistance, any conversations that have to do with any members of Congress … We know that there were conversations in the Oval Office before this about the possibility of declaring martial law and seizing, you know, seizing the ballot machines,” Cheney said.

Insider has contacted McCarthy’s office for comment on Cheney’s remarks.

kevin mccarthy donald trump
Rep. Kevin McCarthy and then-President Donald Trump in Bakersfield, California, in February 2020.

Cheney was ousted from her congressional leadership role in the Republican Party last week – a move that McCarthy supported – over her refusal to back former President Donald Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

She was replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, a supporter of Trump’s election-fraud conspiracy theory.

House Democrats announced last week that they had reached a deal with Republicans to form a bipartisan committee to investigate the Capitol riot, in which Trump supporters sought to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president.

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Rep. Liz Cheney says there’s ‘no question’ that another attack similar to the January 6 riot could occur

Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said on Sunday that there’s “no question” that an attack similar to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot could occur again, fueled by the debunked election claims made by former President Donald Trump.

During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Cheney said that last week’s decision to remove her as House Conference Chair and elevate Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who has supported the former president’s debunked claims, was “dangerous.”

“We have to recognize how quickly things can unravel,” she said. “We have to recognize what it means for the nation to have a former president who has not conceded and who continues to suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the people.”

Read more: Bush-Cheney reunion: Jeb tops the ranks of donors from his brother’s administration coming to Liz Cheney’s defense with campaign donations

When asked by host Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl if she felt another attempted insurrection against the government was a possibility, her answer was clear.

“I think there’s no question,” she said. “We’ve now seen the consequences. We’ve seen how far President Trump was willing to go. We’ve seen not only his provocation of the attack, but his refusal to send help when it was needed … his refusal to immediately say, ‘Stop.’ And that in and of itself, in my view, was a very clear violation of his oath and of his duty.”

Five people died and about 140 Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers were injured after hundreds of Trump supporters breached the US Capitol to interfere with Congress’ counting of Electoral College votes to affirm President Joe Biden’s election win.

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot. She easily survived a February vote to keep her leadership role after the vote, but growing angst among House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Trump, and conservatives led to her recent ouster.

Cheney said that Trump’s continued denial of his 2020 election loss was similar to something out of China.

“I won’t be part of that,” she said. “To cause that kind of questioning about our process, frankly, it’s the same kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party says about democracy: that it’s a failed system, that America is a failed nation.”

She emphasized: “I think it’s very important for Republicans who won’t be part of that to stand up and speak out.”

Last Friday, congressional leaders reached a major agreement on the structure and scope of a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection, as Insider’s Grace Panetta previously reported.

The group is tasked with creating a final report by December 31 with “findings regarding the facts and causes of the attack” and solutions to prevent attacks on the Capitol and other “democratic institutions.”

“It is imperative that we seek the truth of what happened on January 6 with an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement last week.

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Rep. Liz Cheney says the Republican Party cannot progress if members keep ’embracing’ Trump’s baseless 2020 Election claims

Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after a meeting with the House Republican Conference on September 23, 2020.

  • Rep. Liz Cheney called for GOP lawmakers to drop former President Donald Trump’s baseless election claims.
  • In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Cheney said Republicans “must stop embracing the Big Lie.”
  • Cheney was ousted from her House leadership position amid backlash for opposing Trump.
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Rep. Liz Cheney said that in order for the Republican party to progress on the Hill, lawmakers must stop backing former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 election.

The Wyoming lawmaker appeared on “Fox News Sunday” days after she was ousted by her fellow Republicans from her position as chair of the House Republican Conference and replaced with New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a staunch Trump ally.

The Wyoming lawmaker has been highly critical of Donald Trump and was one of the few House Republicans who voted to impeach him. When Trump announced to his supporters that he is redefining the term “the Big Lie” after the 2020 presidential election, Cheney said he is “poisoning our democratic system.”

“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” Cheney tweeted earlier this month. “Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”

Cheney on Sunday repeated the criticism of her Republican colleagues, even confirming to host Chris Wallace that Stefanik and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are “complicit” in continuing to echo “the big lie.”

“I’m not willing to do that,” she said.

Cheney said the party is risking future gains in power across the House, Senate, and White House if lawmakers continue to engage with Trump. Moving forward, Cheney said, the GOP “has to be a party based on that foundation of truth.”

“I think that it is absolutely the case that we have to have the strongest position possible going forward so we can take back the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Cheney said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday.” “The issue is we cannot do that if we are embracing the Big Lie; if we are embracing what former president Trump continues to say on a nearly daily basis which is claims that the election was stolen.”

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GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says he would ‘love to move on’ from Trump, slams McCarthy for giving ‘his leadership card’ to the former president

Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

  • Rep. Kinzinger criticized Republicans who are giving contradictory opinions about Trump’s influence.
  • “You can’t say he’s the leader and then say we have to move on,” he said.
  • Kinzinger criticized GOP leader McCarthy for effectively handing over power to the former president.
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GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Sunday criticized Republicans who have expressed a desire to move on from former President Donald Trump while also supporting him as an enduring force within the party.

During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kinzinger told host Chuck Todd that the party members couldn’t embrace the former president and his debunked election claims, which have continued beyond his one term in office.

“Trump set the table,” Kinzinger said. “He’s the one that continually brings up a stolen election narrative. He’s the one that has convinced, members of Congress, including what we saw a few days ago, to have a hearing on January 6th and claimed that this was nothing but a tourist group, or that it was hugs and kisses.”

Read more: Bush-Cheney reunion: Jeb tops the ranks of donors from his brother’s administration coming to Liz Cheney’s defense with campaign donations

Kinzinger then chided House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California for what he said is the Republican leader’s abdication of his duties.

“You cannot on the one hand say that Donald Trump is a leader or the leader of the Republican Party – which I believe he is the leader of the Republican Party right now because Kevin McCarthy gave him his leadership card,” he said. “You can’t say he’s the leader and then say we have to move on. I would love to move on.”

When asked about the more moderate voting record of newly installed House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York, compared to that of Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a conservative who was dumped from leadership for vocally challenging the former president, Kinzinger was less than enthralled by the lack of focus on ideas.

“I think what it means to say to any Republican that’s maybe kind of confused by the moment we’re in is policy doesn’t matter anymore,” he said. “It literally is all your loyalty to Donald Trump. As I’ve said before, this is something that like echoes a little bit out of North Korea where no matter what policy comes out, you’re loyal to the guy.”

Kinzinger, who was first elected to the House in 2010, was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

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Liz Cheney said she refuses to ‘whitewash’ the Capitol Riot, calling Republicans who do ‘disgraceful and despicable’

Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney last week was ousted from her position as House Republican Conference Chair.

  • Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney said she won’t “whitewash” the events of the January 6 Capitol Riot.
  • Cheney was ousted from her leadership position last week in the House GOP.
  • “The notion that this was somehow a tourist event is disgraceful and despicable,” she said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney said Sunday that she refused to be part of the “whitewashing” of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol as members of the GOP work to distance themselves from it.

“It’s indefensible,” Cheney told ABC News’ Jon Karl during an interview that aired Sunday on “This Week.”

“I will never forget seeing the law enforcement officers, the members of the SWAT team, the rapid response forces – seeing them in their exhaustion,” she said.

She continued: “They had been through hand-to-hand combat and people died. And the notion that this was somehow a tourist event is disgraceful and despicable, and I won’t be part of whitewashing what happened on January 6. Nobody should be part of it and people oughta be held accountable.”

At a House Oversight Committee meeting on the riots last week, GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde said it was a “bald-faced lie” to call the January 6 riot an “insurrection” and compared those who participated, of whom more than 460 have been charged with crimes, to tourists.

“Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the…ropes taking videos and pictures,” Clyde said, “You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit,” he said.

Cheney, meanwhile, has refused to acquiesce to Trump loyalists in the GOP and continues to speak out against him. She was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in the House following his incitement of the insurrection.

In response, her colleagues last week in a vote removed her from her position as chair of the House Republican Conference.

“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” she last week. “I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, also a Republican, made similar comments Sunday during an appearance on CNN and said he didn’t know why members of his own party were trying to downplay the riot.

“Bogus. It’s absolutely bogus,” he said. “It’s absolutely bogus, you know, I was there I watched a number of the folks walk down to the White House and then back. I’ve got a balcony on my office. So I saw them go down. I heard the noise. The flashbangs smelled, some of the gases, it moved my way.”

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GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw says Trump’s relationship with Republican Party is nuanced, as he isn’t ‘the devil,’ but ‘he’s not Jesus either’

Crenshaw Trump
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and former President Donald Trump.

  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw said that the GOP can’t “excommunicate” former President Donald Trump.
  • “I don’t think Trump’s the devil,” he said. “I don’t think he’s Jesus, either.”
  • Crenshaw said that he wanted to move on from the “drama” surrounding Liz Cheney’s ouster.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas on Sunday said the Republican Party can’t “excommunicate” former President Donald Trump after being asked if the former president was still a “legitimate” leader of the party.

During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Crenshaw told host Chuck Todd that Trump’s relationship with Republicans is much more nuanced than what is depicted.

“I believe that you’re not going to excommunicate a former president,” he said. “I refuse to go into this sort of black-and-white thinking about it’s totally one thing or totally another. These are complex human relationships that involve millions of people.”

He added: “I have always said, ‘I don’t think Trump’s the devil.’ I won’t say that. I don’t think he’s Jesus, either. I’m a rational human being about this. I’m going agree where I agree, and I’m going to disagree where I disagree.”

Read more: How Marjorie Taylor Green became the Voldemort of Congress. Few lawmakers even want to say her name.

Regarding Rep. Liz Cheney’s ouster as House Republican Conference Chair this past week, Crenshaw said that he wouldn’t “allow this drama” over the her situation and disputes over the 2020 election “engulf” the caucus.

“There’s no point in re-litigating some of these things,” Crenshaw said. “I say this to Liz, and I say it to [Rep.] Adam [Kinzinger of Illinois]. You’re not going to get the colleagues who believe in that stuff to apologize to you, to agree with you.”

Crenshaw then said he’d rather debate policy and move away from the recent turmoil within the caucus.

“My Republican supporters do not ask me about Trump,” he said. “They don’t ask me about what he said. They’re not riled up about it.”

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says it was a ‘mistake’ to oust Liz Cheney and calls Trump ‘toxic for the Republican Party and for the country’

larry hogan
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan talks to reporters during a news briefing about the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic in front of the Maryland State House April 17, 2020 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan condemned the GOP’s decision to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her House leadership position last week, calling it a “mistake.”

“I thought she just stood up and told the truth and said exactly what she thought,” Hogan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “And to ostracize somebody, remove them from their leadership position is crazy. It’s kind of doubling down on failure.”

Cheney was ousted as House Republican Conference Chair on Thursday for her criticism and was replaced with 36-year-old New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who is backed by Trump. She has denounced former president President Donald Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 election – which he coined “the big lie” – said that he is “poisoning our democratic system.”

When asked about Cheney’s statement calling Trump an “ongoing threat” to democracy, Hogan said he agreed with the Wyoming lawmaker.

“I think he’s toxic for the Republican Party and for the country,” Hogan said. “I think we got to find a way to get the Republican Party back to the party of Lincoln and Reagan, get back to the traditional big tent party that can appeal to the majority of people.”

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Liz Cheney said more Republicans would’ve voted to impeach Trump but were in fear for their lives

Liz Cheney
Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., conduct a news conference after a meeting with the House Republican Conference on September 23, 2020.

  • Rep. Liz Cheney said some GOP lawmakers feared the consequences of opposing Donald Trump.
  • Cheney said some GOP voted not to impeach Trump not because they thought he was innocent but out of fear.
  • Cheney was ousted from her GOP leadership position last week over her opposition to Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Liz Cheney has said that some Republicans chose not to impeach Donald Trump over his role in inciting the Capitol riot not because they thought he was innocent but because they feared the consequences of opposing the former president.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper Friday, Cheney addressed the recent decision by party colleagues to oust her from her position in the party leadership over her rejection of Trump’s conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from him as a result of mass fraud.

Cheney said that opposition to Trump was, in fact, more widespread among GOP lawmakers in Congress than it might appear, and there are “more members who believe in substance and policy and ideals than are willing to say so.”

“If you look at the vote to impeach, for example, there were members who told me that they were afraid for their own security – afraid, in some instances, for their lives,” Cheney said.

“And that tells you something about where we are as a country, that members of Congress aren’t able to cast votes, or feel that they can’t, because of their own security,” she added.

qanon shaman jacob chansley jake angeli capitol riot insurrection siege
Supporters of US President Donald Trump, including Jake Angeli (C), a QAnon supporter known for his painted face and horned hat, enter the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. – Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.

Cheney’s comments came hours after Republicans voted to replace her with Rep. Elise Stefanik as chairperson of the House Republican Conference, the third most powerful position in the congressional GOP.

Stefanik is a backer of Trump’s claim that the election was stolen from him, a claim that has been dismissed in a series of court challenges but overall holds a less conservative voting record than Cheney.

The ouster of Cheney reflects the hold Trump still has over the GOP months after his election defeat by Joe Biden.

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January for his role in inciting the January 6 Capitol riot. He was eventually acquitted, with guilty votes in the Senate not reaching the two-thirds majority required for a conviction.

Cheney’s comments Friday echo reports at the time of the impeachment trial that some Republican lawmakers were living in fear of potential violence from hardline Trump supporters among their own party grassroots.

Cheney said that Trump was continuing to undermine US democracy by repeating his baseless election fraud claims, and Republicans need to take a stand.

“We have to recognize what it means for the nation to have a former president who has not conceded and who continues to suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the people,” she said.

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‘Donald Trump didn’t need to sleep five hours a night’: McCarthy says that Biden doesn’t have the ‘energy’ of the former president

Kevin McCarthy Joe Biden White House
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with congressional leaders in the Oval Office, which included (clockwise from left) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

  • Kevin McCarthy said that President Biden doesn’t have the “energy” of former President Trump.
  • “Donald Trump didn’t need to sleep five hours a night,” McCarthy told Sean Hannity.
  • McCarthy sat for an interview with Steve Scalise and new House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said on Friday that President Joe Biden doesn’t possess the “energy” of former President Donald Trump, after a recent meeting at the White House.

McCarthy, who is seeking to regain control of the House in next year’s midterm elections, met with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, alongside GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

While being interviewed on Fox News by host Sean Hannity, McCarthy gave his assessment of the meeting after Hannity asked if Biden was “engaged” and had a “high level” of energy.

“He was with it and he was engaging and he was giving me numbers and talking,” he said. “But at no time, having known Joe Biden for quite some time, does he have the energy of Donald Trump. We both know it.”

He added: “Donald Trump didn’t need to sleep five hours a night. If you called Donald Trump, he would get on the phone before staff would.”

Read more: How Marjorie Taylor Green became the Voldemort of Congress. Few lawmakers even want to say her name.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and newly-installed House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York were also part of the interview.

Stefanik, a 36-year-old New York lawmaker and Trump loyalist, replaced Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the conservative scion of a prominent Republican family, after Cheney’s refusal to validate the former president’s debunked claims about the 2020 presidential election.

McCarthy, who criticized Cheney for not articulating a united message against the Democratic Party, backed Stefanik’s ascencion to leadership, along with Trump.

The three GOP members largely attacked Biden’s policies during the interview.

“I am excited about Elise Stefanik joining the leadership team because Joe Biden is not just ignoring the problems, he’s igniting them,” McCarthy said.

Biden, who is seeking to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure bill, has hit a huge roadblock with the GOP leaders, who are seeking a smaller package and object to raising the corporate tax rate to fund the legislation.

The president has sought to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, but said he is open to negotiating the final number.

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Rep. Liz Cheney, who was just ousted from House GOP leadership, says she now regrets voting for Trump in 2020

liz cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) heads to the House floor to vote at the US Capitol on February 3, 2021.

  • Liz Cheney told ABC News she now regrets her vote for Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
  • “It was a vote based on policy … in terms of the kinds of policies he put forward,” she said.
  • Cheney criticized House Republicans for ousting her to promote Rep. Elise Stefanik to leadership.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was ousted as the House Republican Conference Chair after continuing to challenge former President Donald Trump’s false election claims, said in an ABC interview set to air on Sunday that she now regrets voting for the former president in 2020.

Cheney, a staunch conservative and the scion of a GOP political dynasty, was removed from her party’s leadership on Thursday and replaced with Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, a 36-year-old lawmaker who had the backing of Trump.

“I was never going to support [President] Joe Biden and I do regret the vote,” Cheney told ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl. “It was a vote based on policy, based on substance and in terms of the kinds of policies he put forward that were good for the country. But I think it’s fair to say that I regret the vote.”

Cheney criticized House Republicans for promoting Stefanik to leadership, emphasizing that it was “dangerous” to elevate an individual who has continued to legitimize Trump’s debunked election allegations.

“What does it say about the party choosing somebody to replace you, who was effectively chosen by Donald Trump and saying what he’s been saying … those very lies you were talking about?” she asked.

She added: “I think it’s dangerous. I think that we have to recognize how quickly things can unravel. We have to recognize what it means for the nation to have a former president who has not conceded and who continues to suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the people.”

Read more: How Marjorie Taylor Green became the Voldemort of Congress. Few lawmakers even want to say her name.

Cheney, who saw the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection as an affront to the rule of law, believed that Trump had abdicated his commitment to the secure and peaceful transfer of power and was threatening American democracy.

“We just had a violent mob assault the US Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our Constitutional duty,” she said in a statement that day. “There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame.”

After voting to impeach Trump in January for his role in the riot, a February vote was held on the fate of Cheney’s status in leadership. She prevailed in the vote.

However, in the months following her impeachment vote, Cheney continued to reject Trump’s claims of a stolen election, angering pro-Trump conservatives like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana who felt like she wasn’t staying on message for the party.

Cheney said in the interview that it was critical for Republicans who rejected Trump’s false election claims to affirm the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

“Frankly, it’s the same kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party says about democracy: that it’s a failed system, and America is a failed nation,” Cheney said of Trump’s claims. “I won’t be part of that. And I think it’s very important for Republicans who won’t be part of that to stand up and speak out.”

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