Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Sunday said that her state Republican Party was “mistaken” in its motion to censure her over her vote to impeach former President Trump and denied plans to resign amid backlash from Trump loyalists.
On Saturday, the Wyoming Republican Party overwhelming voted to censure Cheney, who easily won a House Republican Conference vote last week to remain in her leadership position. The Wyoming GOP also called for Cheney to “immediately” resign and intends to “withhold any future political funding” from the third-ranking House Republican.
During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Cheney said that she has no plans to resign as she stood by her vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” last month in the aftermath of the deadly Capitol riots that left five dead.
“As I’ve explained and will continue to explain to supporters all across this state, voters all across this state, the oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment, and it doesn’t bend to partisanship,” Cheney said. “It doesn’t bend to political pressure. It’s the most important oath that we take. And so I will stand by that, and I will continue to fight for all the issues that matter to us all cross Wyoming.”
Cheney then took aim at her state’s Republican Party for being “mistaken” in its vote to censure her — another example of state Republican lawmakers punishing prominent figures in the party who have bucked Trump.
“I think you have to read the language of the censure partly, you know I think people in the party are mistaken, they believe that BLM and Antifa were behind what happened at the Capitol, that’s just simply not the case, it’s not true,” Cheney said. “And we’re going to have a lot of work we have to do. People have been lied to. The extent to which the president, President Trump, for months leading up to Jan. 6 spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie. And people need to understand that.”
Cheney implored Republicans to ensure that the GOP is “the party of truth” in order to flip more seats in next year’s midterm elections as well as the 2024 presidential race.
“We need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth and that we’re being honest about what really did happen in 2020 so we actually have a chance to win in 2022 and win the White House back in 2024,” Cheney said.
Asked whether she would vote to convict Trump if she was in the Senate, Cheney said she would listen to the evidence and testimony, while also standing by her vote last month to impeach Trump.
“The single greatest threat to our republic is a president who would put his own self-interest above the Constitution, above the national interest,” Cheney said. “And we’ve had a situation where President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen and then apparently set about to do everything he could to steal it himself.”
Cheney disavowed Trump further by advising the GOP against “embracing” the former president now that he lacks “a role as a leader” of the Republican Party after leaving office.
“Somebody who has provoked an attack on the United States Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral votes, which resulted in five people dying, who refused to stand up immediately when he was asked to stop the violence — that is a person who does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward,” Cheney said.
Later Sunday, Axios reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tried to get Cheney to apologize for her vote to impeach Trump ahead of last week’s House GOP conference meeting.
According to Axios, McCarthy told the third-ranking House Republican hours before the House GOP conference meeting that their members wanted to hear Cheney express remorse over her vote to impeach Trump for the second time. McCarthy suggested that issuing an apology could get Cheney back into the good graces of fellow GOPers who’ve scorned her for being one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last month.
Cheney simply refused McCarthy’s request, according to Axios, and ultimately retained her leadership position in the House GOP conference in a 145-61 vote.
“Several members have asked me to apologize for the vote, they’ve asked my colleagues who also voted to impeach to apologize for the vote,” Cheney told her colleagues, according to Axios. “I cannot do that. It was a vote of conscience. It was a vote of principle — a principle on which I stand and still believe.”
Watch Cheney’s remarks below: