Saturday, 15 May 2021

Spurning Calls to Resign, Liz Cheney Says G.O.P. Must Move Past Trump

WASHINGTON — Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming waded deeper into Republicans’ identity crisis on Sunday, warning her party on the eve of a Senate impeachment trial not to “look past” former President Donald J. Trump’s role in stoking a violent attack on the Capitol and a culture of conspiracy roosting among their ranks.

In her first television interview since fending off an attempt by Mr. Trump’s allies to oust her from House leadership over her vote to impeach him, Ms. Cheney said Republican voters had been “lied to” by a president eager to steal an election with baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. She cautioned that the party risked being locked out of power if it did not show a majority of Americans that it could be trusted to lead truthfully.

“The notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie, and people need to understand that,” Ms. Cheney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth, and that we are being honest about what really did happen in 2020 so we actually have a chance to win in 2022 and win the White House back in 2024.”

She added that Mr. Trump “does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward.”

The remarks made plain that Ms. Cheney, a leading Republican voice trying to push the party back toward its traditional policy roots, had no intention of backing off her criticism of the former president after two attempts last week to punish her for her impeachment vote. In Washington, her critics forced a vote to try to oust her as the chairwoman of the House Republican conference, but it failed overwhelmingly on a secret ballot. And on Saturday, the Wyoming Republican Party censured her and called for her resignation.

Answering that call, Ms. Cheney said on Sunday that she would not resign and suggested that Republicans in her home state continued to be fed misinformation about what had taken place.

“People in the party are mistaken,” she said of the Jan. 6 attack, which, together with nearby protests, killed five people, including a Capitol Police officer. Referring to the Black Lives Matter movement, she added: “They believe that B.L.M. and antifa were behind what happened here at the Capitol. That’s just simply not the case, it’s not true, and we’re going to have a lot of work we have to do.”

Who is Marjorie Taylor Greene?

Updated Feb. 4, 2021

    • Marjorie Taylor Greene won the race for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District after incumbent Tom Graves announced he would not run for re-election.
    • She is a right-wing Republican and the first QAnon supporter to win national political office.
    • Ms. Greene has posted numerous troubling social media posts and videos rooted in Islamophobia and racism. Some of them endorse violent behavior, including executing Democratic leaders, and spread an array of conspiracy theories, including that the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., were hoaxes.
    • Many of these posts appeared before she was elected. In 2018, she made a Facebook post suggesting that a devastating wildfire in California was started by “a laser” beamed from space and controlled by a prominent Jewish banking family with connections to powerful Democrats.
    • Some Republicans have condemned her behavior, but most others are staying quiet.
    • The House voted to strip Ms. Greene of her committee assignments for endorsing these false claims, bigoted language and violent behavior.

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