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House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) was reportedly ripped by several fellow GOP members at a closed-door meeting on Monday for her vocal support for top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci and for breaking from President Donald Trump on issues.
In addition, some members of the House Freedom Caucus also blasted Cheney, considered by them to be more of an ‘establishment’ Republican like her former vice presidential father, Dick Cheney, also blasted her for supporting the primary opponent of one of their colleagues, Politico reported.
One of them, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a caucus co-founder, called Cheney out for her regular opposition to President Trump’s positions and policies before listing some recent high-profile examples, two sources told Politico.
Jordan lauded her for her defense of the president during impeachment, but he added that her recent criticisms of Trump which have been directed towards his coronavirus responses, Twitter statements, and foreign policy have not been favorable.
Meanwhile, Politico reported that Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), head of the Freedom Caucus, accused Cheney of undermining Republicans’ chances of winning back the House in the fall, saying if anyone has a problem with the president they should discuss it in private or keep quiet about it.
“The venting session began when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) got on the microphone to complain about Cheney supporting a Republican primary challenger to Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.),” Politico reported.
“Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Biggs also defended Massie and expressed their concerns about GOP lawmakers playing in primaries involving their colleagues,” the outlet added.
The GOP Conference will be stronger if Liz Cheney is no longer leading it.https://t.co/gKbSoO5F8Z
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) July 21, 2020
Sources reportedly told the news site that Cheney defended her comments as being her own, adding, “I look forward to hearing your comments about being a team player when we’re back in the majority.”
Things getting HEATED at House GOP conference meeting right now.
Matt Gaetz & Thomas Massie both got on the mics and went after Liz Cheney for backing Massie’s primary opponent, per source in the room.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) July 21, 2020
Cheney did not back down from confrontation:
She defended Fauci.
She told Gaetz I look forward to seeing ur HBO doc.
She told Massie his issue is w/ Trump, not her.
She told Jordan I look forward to hearing ur comments about being a team player when we’re back in the majority
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) July 21, 2020
The meeting was the first in-person gathering of the GOP caucus in months. Members were relegated to virtual meetings because of the coronavirus.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) tested positive for the virus last week, prompting the caucus to add safety measures including temperature checks at the door and mandatory mask-wearing ahead of this week’s meeting.
Cheney has been one of the few Republicans to publicly question Trump policies but has so far not drawn his ire on Twitter.
In October, she called it “shameful” for Americans to question the motives behind then-U.S. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman who appeared before the Democrat-controlled impeachment hearings.
“I also want to say a word about something else that’s been going on over the last couple of hours, and last night, which I think is also shameful,” Cheney said.
“Questioning the patriotism — questioning the dedication to country — of people like Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and others who have testified [is shameful].”
And last month, Cheney sent out a tweet featuring her father wearing a mask with the hashtag #realmenwearmasks.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) June 26, 2020
The former VP and defense secretary has a lengthy history of heart problems, however. That, and his age — 79 — put him at the highest risk of contracting and dying from coronavirus, according to health experts.
The tweet wound up being controversial among some Republicans because of President Trump’s resistance to wearing a mask and his former refusal to recommend they be worn.
“We want to make sure that individual liberty is not infringed upon by government and hence government cannot require individuals to wear a mask,” Gov. Greg Abbott said last month, though he has since mandated their use in public.
In May, Cheney heaped praise on Fauci, saying “we need his expertise” to battle against coronavirus.
“Dr. Fauci is one of the finest public servants we have ever had. He is not a partisan. His only interest is saving lives. We need his expertise and his judgment to defeat this virus. All Americans should be thanking him. Every day,” she tweeted.
Dr. Fauci is one of the finest public servants we have ever had. He is not a partisan. His only interest is saving lives. We need his expertise and his judgment to defeat this virus. All Americans should be thanking him. Every day.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 13, 2020
Trump has since questioned Fauci’s reliability after accusing him of being wrong on a number of issues, including changing his mind on mask-wearing.
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