McConnell Dodges When Pressed On Cheney’s Ouster By House GOP

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after a Republican policy luncheon at the Capitolon June 9, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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May 13, 2021 8:00 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ducked multiple times on Wednesday evening when Fox News anchor Bret Baier tried to ask him about House GOP lawmakers removing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as conference chair for recognizing Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election.

“Well look, it’s up to the House to make these kinds of decisions,” McConnell said when asked if he supported Cheney’s ouster. “We’re moving ahead in the Senate, focusing on the current challenges we have with this new administration.”

When Baier pointed out that McConnell had declined to defend Cheney last week after once praising her as a “leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them” in February, the senator said he stood by what he had said about her before deflecting again.

“As to who’s supposed to be in the leadership in the House, that’s up to House Republicans,” he told Baier, repeating again that “entirely our focus is dealing with this new administration.”

The Fox News host tried again by asking if McConnell disagreed with Cheney’s warning on Tuesday night that Trump “risks inciting further violence” after his lies about the 2020 election prompted his followers to attack the Capitol on January 6.

“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you: I’m focusing on dealing with the conditions we find ourselves in now,” the Senate GOP leader snapped. “With regard to the election, I voted to certify the election.”

McConnell’s dodges echo other Republicans’ refusal to admit that Cheney had been ousted because she pushed back against Trump’s false claim that the election was rigged against him.

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