- Cheney said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that “a lot” of House and Senate lawmakers have encouraged her privately.
- She said GOP lawmakers will not speak up against Trump publicly for fear of being in “political peril.”
- Cheney added that she is not ready to cede the GOP to “the voices of extremism.”
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Wyoming lawmaker Liz Cheney said many GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate have approached her privately and cheered her on in her fight against former President Donald Trump.
“Have members of Congress, Republicans, come up to you privately and whispered in your ear, ‘Way to go, Liz,’ and encouraged you, but won’t come forward and say that publicly?” Stahl asked Cheney.
“The argument that you often hear is that if you do something that is perceived as against Trump that, you know, you’ll put yourself in political peril,” Cheney told Stahl. “And that’s a self-fulfilling prophesy because if Republican leaders don’t stand up and condemn what happened then, the voices in the party that are so dangerous will only get louder and stronger.”
In the same interview, Cheney called the former president “dangerous” and said she was standing up to him because she wanted to “fight for the GOP” because she still believed in it.
“I am not ready to cede the Republican party,” Cheney said. “And I’m not ready to cede it to the voices of extremism, to the voices of antisemitism, and the voices of racism, and there certainly are some in our party.”
Cheney and Trump have locked horns repeatedly after she voted for him to be impeached following the January 6 Capitol riot, breaking with the GOP’s party line. She has also been under fire for accepting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offer to join the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.
Cheney’s vocal opposition to the former president has resulted in the GOP voting to oust her from her leadership position. Trump has also gone after Cheney, branding her a “Republican-in-name-only” (or RINO) and attacking her repeatedly in his statements and speeches. This month, he endorsed one of her challengers for her House seat, Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman.
Meanwhile, Cheney is raising a record amount of funds for her re-election bid and has been supported by former President George W. Bush and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Bush’s backing of Cheney, however, has not come without reprisal from Trump. Last week, the Trump camp emailed a meme to his supporters of Cheney and Bush’s faces morphed together. Trump sent the meme a day after releasing a statement criticizing Bush for having “a failed and uninspiring presidency.”