Defiant Cheney tells Chris Wallace that Trump ‘lied’ about rigged election, has no role in GOP

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace provided Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney the opportunity to respond to critics and calls for her to step down as the GOP caucus’ No. 3 lawmaker after her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

In beginning the segment, Wallace noted that Cheney survived a vote in the House among GOP members last week to remain head of the Republican Conference but added that the Wyoming Republican Party censured her for her vote and called on her to resign.


“Are you gonna step down?” Wallace asked.

“I’m not,” Cheney responded. “I think people all across Wyoming understand and recognize that our most important duty is to the Constitution. And as I’ve explained and will continue to explain to supporters all across the state and voters all across the state the oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment. And it doesn’t bend to partisanship, it doesn’t bend to political pressure. It’s the most important oath that we take.”

Wallace replied by noting that it only took the Wyoming GOP 11 minutes to decide on Saturday to vote for censuring Cheney, one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump a second time.

The state party said in its censuring statement that Cheney “violated the trust of her voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters, and neglected her duty to represent the party” as well as the will of the state’s voters.

The party also claimed there is “ample” evidence that the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building was “instigated by Antifa and BLM radicals,” though that claim has not been supported thus far by federal investigators — though the FBI has uncovered evidence that the assault was preplanned.

“Today’s vote to censure illustrates that Liz Cheney is hopelessly out of touch with Wyoming, Trump’s best state TWICE,” Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, who will primary Cheney next year, posted on Twitter along with an empty chair bearing Cheney’s name.

The state party extended an invitation to Cheney but she did not show up, NPR noted.

In her interview with Wallace, Wyoming’s sole representative also pushed back on her state party’s claim that BLM and Antifa were involved.

“People in the party were mistaken. They believe that BLM and Antifa were behind what happened here at the Capitol,” said Cheney. “That’s just simply not the case.

“People have been lied to,” she said. “The extent to which President Trump, for months leading up to January 6th, spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged, was a lie. And people need to understand that.”

However, a stunningly detailed story published Friday by Time magazine details how a well-resourced, bipartisan cabal of influencers worked behind the scenes to alter the outcome of the November election against the former president.

The piece, written by Molly Ball, talks of “a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes” in reference to a “shadow campaign” put together to “oppose Trump’s assault on democracy” that involved a “cabal of powerful people” who worked, in part, to “control the flow of information.”

“That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream—a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information,” Ball wrote.

The conspiracy involved “a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election – an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.”

As for Cheney, she took a victory lap after the Republican caucus voted 145-61 in secret to keep her on as conference chair.

“We really did have a terrific vote tonight and terrific time this evening laying out what we’re going to do going forward, as well as making clear that we’re not going to be divided and that we’re not going to be in a situation where people can pick off any member of leadership,” she said. “It was a very resounding acknowledgment that we need to go forward together and that we need to go forward in a way that helps us beat back the really dangerous and negative Democrat policies.”

Cheney told  Wallace that Trump should “not have a role as the leader of our party going forward.”

“We should not be embracing the former president,” she said.

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Jon Dougherty

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