In a head-spinning moment, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) falsely insisted that his caucus is done pushing the election fraud falsehoods that led to Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) ouster as its conference chair on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters shortly after meeting with President Biden at the White House alongside other congressional leaders, McCarthy insisted that the Republican Party has moved on from false claims of a stolen election. He nodded at the meeting he just had with the President — which took place just hours after his caucus voted to oust Cheney as the No. 3 Republican — as laughable evidence of a supposed departure from the “big lie.”
“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.”
The remarks from McCarthy — who initially condemned former President Trump for inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection before ultimately pushing for Cheney’s ouster from leadership for doing the same — starkly contrast the GOP outrage that ensued in the aftermath of Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”
Cheney has refused to swear fealty to Trump’s election fraud falsehoods, a democracy dismantling crusade that culminated in the deadly Capitol insurrection on the day of the joint session of Congress cementing Biden’s presidential win.
On the eve of her widely anticipated ouster as conference chair, Cheney, from the House floor, 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.
The former president and his allies continued peddling false claims of a stolen election well after Trump left office, and GOP leadership sidestepped opportunities to come to Cheney’s defense, opting instead to endorse Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-NY) to lead the House GOP conference after Cheney’s ouster.
Watch McCarthy’s remarks below:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, hours after ousting Rep. Liz Cheney from leadership: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. That's all over with. We are sitting here with the president today." pic.twitter.com/VK0aohLipa
— The Recount (@therecount) May 12, 2021