Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney dismissed former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims that the 2020 elections were stolen, and on Monday accused him of “poisoning our democratic system.”
Ms. Cheney’s comments on Twitter escalated her feud with the former president – and, more broadly, with dozens of her Republicans repeating his baseless claims that the election was fraudulent or spreading falsehoods about the January 6 attack on the Capitol from a pro-Trump mob.
The clash threatens to reach a breaking point in the House where a number of ordinary Republicans are increasingly frustrated with Ms. Cheney’s determination to continue calling out Mr. Trump and members of her party. Some have openly predicted that the Wyoming Republican, who overwhelmingly overwhelmed a leadership challenge in February after sideizing the Democrats in the vote against the former president, will soon face another such challenge and will lose.
Obviously unafraid of such threats, Ms. Cheney on Monday issued a scathing counter-argument to a statement by Mr. Trump describing his 2020 loss as “THE BIG LIE,” the term Democrats used to describe the former president’s lies a stolen choice.
“The 2020 presidential elections were not stolen” Ms. Cheney wrote about an hour after Mr. Trump posted his one-line statement. “Anyone who says so is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system.”
Her comments are likely to lead to growing resentment against her within the House Republican Conference, whose leaders have been publicly signaling irritation over the past few weeks at Ms. Cheney’s insistence on seizing every possible opportunity to address the January 6 insurrection as one Denouncing attack made by Mr. Trump and his claims to a stolen election.
On a Republican retreat in Orlando last week, California minority representative Kevin McCarthy declined to say if she was a good fit to lead the conference, which signaled a change of heart from February when he vouched for Ms. Cheney as her faced a vote to deprive them of their leadership position. In remarks to AxiosRep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Republican No. 2, went a little further and suggested that Ms. Cheney not keep up with the conference.
“This idea that you are simply ignoring President Trump is not where we are – and frankly it still has a lot going for it,” said Scalise.
Tensions escalated last week after Ms. Cheney told reporters that any lawmaker who led the bid to invalidate President Biden’s election victory in Congress should be banned from running. She also broke off with Mr. McCarthy on the scope of a proposed independent commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection and, in response to a question, told reporters that she felt they should focus closely on the attack on the Capitol .
Mr McCarthy and other Republican leaders have instead argued that the investigation should be extended to “political violence in this country”, including by activists from Black Lives Matter and Antifa.