Politics Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Trump in 2020
How Democrats Learned to Love the Cheneys
Is Cheney's dissent conviction or calculation?This metamorphosis—lampooned as “strange new respect” by journalist Tom Bethell in 1992 as the liberal journalist’s instinct to overpraise any leftward gesture by a right-wing politician—can be accomplished any number of ways. In Romney’s case, he achieved his strange new respect in 2020, when he cast his ballot to impeach President Donald Trump. John Bolton won his by publishing a show-and-tell about working for the Trump administration, 2020’s The Room Where It Happened.
Rep. Liz Cheney on Friday said she regretted voting for former Presidentin the 2020 given his efforts to overturn his defeat and sow doubt in the integrity of the process.
"I was never going to supportand I do regret the vote," Cheney told ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl. "It was a vote based on policy, based on substance and in terms of the kinds of policies he put forward that were good for the country. But I think it's fair to say that I regret the vote."
Cheney, R-Wyo., also blasted House Republicans forof New York to replace her in party leadership, calling it "dangerous" to promote yet another leader who has promoted former President Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election.
Who is Liz Cheney? House Republicans' No. 3, daughter of a VP, Trump critic
Liz Cheney is the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who held the same GOP leadership position from which she may be ousted.Cheney was one of 10 Republicans in the House to vote for Trump's impeachment over his alleged incitement of the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, and has since remained firm in her belief that Trump's rhetoric led to the violence.
"What does it say about the party choosing somebody to replace you, who was effectively chosen by Donald Trump and saying what he's been saying - those very lies you were talking about?" Karl asked Cheney in the interview, which will air in full on "This Week" on Sunday.
"I think it's dangerous. I think that we have to recognize how quickly things can unravel," Cheney told Karl. “We have to recognize what it means for the nation to have a former president who has not conceded and who continues to suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the people."
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After an unsuccessful attempt in February, Republicans, with the backing of GOP leaders,from the No. 3 party leadership post in a closed-door vote Wednesday amid her repeated criticism of Trump and his comments about the 2020 election.
On Friday, the conference overwhelmingly appointed Stefanik, who was endorsed for the position by Trump, to fill her role. Stefanik has also promoted some of the unfounded conspiracy theories questioning the election results in Arizona and voted against the election results in Pennsylvania on the House floor on Jan. 6.
"Frankly, it's the same kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party says about democracy: that it's a failed system, and America is a failed nation," Cheney said of Trump’s election comments promoted by many Republicans. "I won't be part of that. And I think it's very important for Republicans who won't be part of that to stand up and speak out."
Liz Cheney: House Republicans are preparing to oust No. 3 leader this week. Here's what to watch.
House Republicans could vote as early as Wednesday to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as GOP conference chair, a move that would underscore former President Donald Trump's firm grip on the party months after leaving office. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 14: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) attends a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House Republican members spoke about their recent trip to the southern border and the surge of migrant children entering the United States.
Cheney’s leadership position was called into question earlier this year when she voted to impeach Trump following the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to do so.
Since that attack, Cheney has been an outspoken opponent of Trump’s, blaming him for inciting violence that day and painting him as a threat to democracy.
"I think the issue really is Donald Trump and it really is the party and whether we're going to be a party that's based on the truth," Cheney said. "I think we've seen consistently since the election, certainly since Jan. 6 and in ways, it's increased since Jan. 6, the former president's willingness to be very aggressive in his attacks on democracy and on our electoral process."
The events of Jan. 6 remain a central focus for lawmakers in both chambers. After months of negotiations, a bipartisan pair of House lawmakers announced an agreement to form a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol attack and its aftermath.
While Democrats are expected to bring the measure to the House floor next week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters he had not reviewed the proposal.
Liz Cheney is set to be removed from her post as House GOP Conference chair. What does the chair do?
Liz Cheney holds the third-ranking position among House Republicans, a role she was elected for by her fellow Republican members of Congress. Cheney avoided another attempt to remove her from leadership in February just after her vote to impeach Trump and statements blaming him for the riot, but this time around there is more pressure from Republican lawmakers to see her gone. "The House GOP has a massive opportunity to upgrade this week from warmonger Liz Cheney to gifted communicator Elise Stefanik," Trump said in a statement on Tuesday.
Cheney: McCarthy 'absolutely' should testify about Jan. 6
Cheney told Karl that McCarthy "absolutely should" testify before any commission, and that she "wouldn't be surprised if he were subpoenaed."
"I think that he very clearly and said publicly that he's got information about the president's state of mind that day," Cheney said.
McCarthy spoke to Trump on Jan. 6, and reportedly told him to call off his supporters during the riot at the Capitol, according to a statement from Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., who cited a conversation with McCarthy.
Herrera Beutler said Trump replied, "'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election then you are.'"
McCarthy did not deny Trump’s comments but downplayed them when pressed in a Fox News interview, saying Trump was "engaged in the idea of making sure we could stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time."
"I would hope he doesn't require a subpoena, but I wouldn't be surprised if he were subpoenaed," Cheney said of McCarthy.
Aides to McCarthy, who had called for a panel to investigate political violence beyond Jan. 6, did not respond to a message seeking a response to Cheney’s comments.
"The elements of that commission are exactly as they should be. I'm very glad they rejected leader McCarthy's suggestions that somehow we should dilute the commission, it's really important that it be focused on just on January 6 and the events leading up to it," Cheney said.
Cheney's full interview with ABC News will air on "This Week" on Sunday morning.
Liz Cheney Posted Most Successful Fundraising Quarter Ever in Beginning of 2021 .
On Wednesday, House Republicans voted to oust Cheney from her leadership role as chair of the House Republican Conference, while challengers are gearing up to run against her in the 2022 primary. But unseating Cheney could prove difficult as she continues to rake in large amounts of campaign money amid reports that the list of candidates seeking to run against her grows.For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.Over a year remains before Wyoming's deadline to file for the August 2022 Republican primary, but already at least six Republicans plan to run against her.