Liz Cheney has become the figurehead of the Never Trumpers, Republicans seeking to loosen the former president’s grip on their party, but the Wyoming congresswoman was for him in the last election.
Newly removed from Republican House leadership, Cheney spoke to ABC’s This Week in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday.
Asked if she voted for Trump in 2020, she replied: “I did.”
Asked if she regretted it, 彼女は言いました: “I was never going to support Joe Biden and I do regret the vote. I think that it was based on policy, based on sort of substance and what I know in terms of the kinds of policies [トランプ] put forward that were good for the country. But that I think it is fair to say I regret the vote.”
Cheney came out against Trump after the deadly attack on the US Capitol on 6 1月, by supporters he told to “fight like hell” in service of his lie that his conclusive defeat by Joe Biden was the result of mass electoral fraud.
Most of the congressional GOP has stayed behind Trump but Cheney was one of 10 共和党員 in the House to vote for his impeachment, on a charge of inciting an insurrection. Trump was acquitted at trial after only seven Republican senators could be persuaded to follow suit.
Cheney also told ABC that Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, should either voluntarily testify before any 6 January commission about his conversation with Trump as the attack happened, or be compelled to do so.
Cheney is a staunch conservative and a daughter of Dick Cheney, a former congressman, secretary of defense and vice-president. As such she is a member of a party establishment either beaten into near-silence by Trump’s harangues, like Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell; vilified by Trump’s supporters, like Utah senator and 2012 nominee Mitt Romney; or simply acquiescent.
Trump remains excluded from social media over his role in the Capitol riot but on Saturday he issued statements replete with rants about supposed electoral fraud and “crooked, 嫌な, and very dishonest media outlets”. 1つで, he called McConnell a “weak and pathetic leader”.
On ABC, interviewer Jonathan Karl also asked if Cheney would stay in her party should Trump decide to run for president again – as he has hinted he might – and then win the nomination in 2024.
“I will do everything that I can to make sure he’s not the nominee,” Cheney said. “And, you know everything necessary to make sure that that he never gets anywhere close to the Oval Office again.”
だが, Karl repeated, would she remain in the party if Trump were the nominee?
“I will not support him,” said Cheney. “And we’ll do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Some Republicans outside Congress have mooted the formation of a new conservative party. Most observers think such a move unlikely to succeed.
Nonetheless the brewing civil war in Republican ranks was set to dominate the US political talk shows on Sunday.
Cheney was also due to be interviewed on Fox News Sunday. Another anti-Trump House Republican, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, was booked by NBC’s Meet the Press. NBC also booked the Texas representative Dan Crenshaw, a Trump loyalist.
CBS’s Face the Nation was due to feature Joni Ernst of Iowa, the only woman in Republican Senate leadership, who this week criticised the House GOP for “cancelling” Cheney. CNN’s State of the Union booked Fred Upton, a Michigan representative and moderate who has been close to Biden.
Cheney’s replacement as the No 3 Republican in the House, Elise Stefanik, was due to speak to Fox Business. The New Yorker is a former moderate who swiftly moved to the hard right and gained Trump’s support.
Stefanik backed a formal objection to electoral college results in Pennsylvania, one of two states Republicans challenged on the day of the Capitol riot. She indicated a willingness to challenge other states but no senator followed suit.
Cheney told ABC: “I think the issue really is ドナルド・トランプ and it really is the party and whether we’re going to be a party that’s based on the truth.
“I think we’ve seen consistently since the election, certainly since 6 January and in ways it has increased since 6 1月, the former president’s willingness to be very aggressive in his attacks on democracy and on our electoral process.”