Rep. Liz Cheney, ousted this week as the third-ranking House Republican, defended her outspoken criticism of former President Donald Trump during an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” and said that the 74 million Americans who voted for him were “misled” and “betrayed.”
Asked by Fox News’ Chris Wallace about why she chose to alienate “tens of millions of Republican voters who still support Donald Trump,” Cheney said: “Those millions of people that you mention who supported the president have been misled. They’ve been betrayed. And certainly, as we see his continued action to attack our democracy, his continued refusal to accept the results of the last election, you see that ongoing danger.”
GOP lawmakers voted behind closed doors on Wednesday to remove Cheney, R-Wyo., as the conference chair over her opposition to Trump’s continued influence in the party and her repeated denunciation of his “big lie” that the presidential election was fraudulently stolen from him.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives to speak to reporters after House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership post as chair of the House Republican Conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Cheney has also accused the former president of provoking violence on Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the electoral count that certified Joe Biden as the victor of the November election. Five people died during the riot, including a Capitol Police officer.
She was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection.
“He’s causing people to believe that they can’t count on our electoral process to convey the will of the people,” Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said Sunday. “We have to be a nation of laws.”
House Republicans elected Rep. Elise Stefanik, a consummate supporter of the former president, to the leadership position on Friday. Trump endorsed Stefanik and slammed Cheney as “a bitter, horrible human being,” predicting that she would ultimately lose her seat representing Wyoming.
But Cheney stood by her decision to condemn Trump, saying she is “firmly committed to leading this party back to a place where we believe and advocate on behalf of policies and substance.”
“I cannot imagine a more important issue than whether or not the Republican Party is going to be a party that embraces and defends the rule of law and Constitution,” she said, adding: “I think that what we have seen over the course of the last couple of weeks is really the opening salvo in what is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, a battle for the soul of our democracy. I intend to play a very big role in that.”