Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) tore into House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) moments after she was ousted as the No. 3 Republican.
During an interview that aired on the “Today” show Thursday, Cheney was asked whether McCarthy placed his ambitions to be speaker of the House above principle by orchestrating Cheney’s demotion over her vehement criticism of former President Trump. Cheney said she thinks that McCarthy is failing to lead with principle.
“I think that it is sad, and I think it’s dangerous,” Cheney said.
Cheney was pressed on her thoughts about McCarthy’s visit to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort less than a month after the deadly Capitol insurrection. McCarthy initially condemned Trump’s incitement of the mob behind the attack, before ultimately pushing for Cheney’s ouster when she voted to impeach him.
Cheney said that she was stunned by McCarthy’s visit to Mar-a-Lago to attempt to get back into Trump’s good graces, given that the former president’s efforts to delegitimize the democratic process culminated in one of the darkest moments in American history.
“[Trump is] not just a former president. He provoked an attack on the Capitol, an attack on our democracy,” Cheney said. “And so I can’t understand why you would want to go rehabilitate him.”
Hours after Cheney was booted from GOP leadership on Wednesday, McCarthy insisted that the Republican Party has moved on from false claims of a stolen election simply because he met with President Biden at the White House alongside other congressional leaders.
“I don’t think anyone is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. I think that is all over with, we’re sitting here with the President today,” McCarthy said. “From that point of view, I don’t think that’s a problem.”
McCarthy failed to acknowledge that the GOP’s embrace of the “big lie” informed the party’s outrage towards Cheney following her vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”
Cheney has refused to back down from calling out Trump.
Speaking from the House floor on the eve of her widely anticipated ouster as conference chair, Cheney warned that the former president “risks inciting further violence” because of his continued effort to delegitimize the election process by peddling voter fraud lies.
“Today we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence,” Cheney said Tuesday night.
Watch Cheney’s interview below:
“We have to decide as a party whether we’re going to embrace the truth.”
Watch @SavannahGuthrie’s full exclusive interview with Rep. Liz Cheney in her first interview since the vote to remove her from her position as House Republican Conference Chair. pic.twitter.com/AY4d3817uy
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 13, 2021