Liz Cheney stokes GOP rift with 'big lie' rebuke of Trump
Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday escalated her feud with former President Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress, issuing a less-than-subtle swipe at the former president’s latest attempt to claim the 2020 election was stolen from him.
On Monday morning, Trump issued a statement from his Save America PAC proclaiming that the presidential election “will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!” — an attempt to appropriate the label given to the false claim by Trump and his Republican allies that last November's election was in fact won by the former president.
Less than an hour later, Cheney (R-Wyo.), who faces renewed pressure from Trump-aligned forces within the Republican caucus to remove her from House leadership over her direct rebukes of the former president’s falsehoods, swiped back on Twitter.
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” Cheney wrote. “Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”
Cheney was the highest-ranking Republican to join Democrats in voting to impeach Trump last January for the role lawmakers said he played in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. She has since become a top target of Trump and his political allies and has already headed off one attempt to remove her as House GOP conference chair.
The Wyoming Republican kicked up a new round of Republican agita last week when she said support for Trump-backed challenges to the 2020 Electoral College results should be disqualifying for any Republican seeking the party's 2024 presidential nomination.
Some top Republicans — including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — are reportedly waning in their support for Cheney amid the continued internal hostilities between her and the party's pro-Trump wing.
Trump’s missive comes as Arizona's Republican-commissioned audit of the election results in Maricopa County — which includes the Phoenix metro area — is ongoing. The former president has latched onto the effort as the latest hope of proving that there was rampant voter fraud in the 2020 election he lost to President Joe Biden and issued a stream of statements trying to draw attention to the process.
Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, on Sunday derided the audit as a “ludicrous” attempt to undermine Biden’s victory. McCain was one of Trump's fiercest GOP critics and became a top GOP surrogate during Biden's campaign.
The Republican House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, should testify before the commission to investigate the 6 January Capitol attack, the Wyoming representative Liz Cheney said on Friday, because he has “said publicly that he’s got information about the president’s state of mind that day”.
Former President Trump's false charge that the election was stolen has rattled the core of the GOP, sparking a nasty clash over who commands the soul of the party. The baseless claims have launched a splinter group of disgruntled Republican officials; and toppled a conservative icon, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ejected this week from the leadership ranks.
The scandal engulfing Matt Gaetz, one of Donald Trump’s brashest supporters in Congress, deepened on Friday after an associate admitted sex trafficking involving a minor and agreed to cooperate with investigators. Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida, said he and unidentified others paid a 17-year-old girl for sex and he provided the girl with drugs, according to court papers cited by multiple media outlets. Greenberg, 37, is expected to plead guilty to six federal charges, including financial crimes, in court in Orlando on Monday.
Elise Stefanik cruised to victory in a vote to replace Liz Cheney as House Republicans' third-ranked leader, capping off a tumultuous month in the GOP conference sparked by its bitter divisions over Donald Trump. Stefanik won in a 134-46 secret-ballot vote, defeating her sole challenger Rep. Chip Roy of Texas — an unsurprising outcome after she aggressively campaigned for the No. 3 spot, scooping up endorsements from top party leaders and Trump. The 36-year-old New Yorker, known as a moderate turned Trump ally who's used her fundraising skills to help elect a new class of GOP women.