Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who remains a staunch Trump loyalist despite the ex-president inciting a violent coup attempt, on Thursday night demanded House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) move to have House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) stripped of her leadership position after she voted to impeach Donald Trump.
“Kevin McCarthy needs to hold a vote on Liz Cheney,” Gaetz told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “And if he doesn’t, the Republican Conference is a total joke. More than half of the Republican conference has said that this person does not speak for us.”
The GOP congressman asserted that Republicans “basically have no power” now that Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress.
“The only power we have is to communicate,” Gaetz said. “And if the person we’ve designated to communicate for us is the conference chair [who] doesn’t have the support of the majority of the conference, it is a total fiction that you’ve created regarding the entire structure of leadership.”
Several hours earlier, Gaetz traveled to Cheney’s home state to urge Wyomingites to vote her out of office and “bring Washington to its knees” in a speech that flatly disregarded McCarthy’s private plea for rank-and-file GOP lawmakers to stop publicly attacking each other.
For his part, McCarthy initially stood by Cheney when Trump loyalists in the GOP conference began demanding her ouster. However, he partially walked back his support last week, saying he had “concerns” about her.
Watch Gaetz below:
Gaetz: McCarthy needs to hold a vote on removing Cheney, otherwise "the Republican Conference is a total joke" pic.twitter.com/xQIJGbrec6
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 29, 2021