Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) is facing a backlash after openly disagreeing with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) on Donald Trump’s future with the party during an awkward press conference exchange.
Asked on Wednesday whether Trump should be speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida this week, McCarthy replied simply, “Yes, he should.”
Cheney, who was standing behind McCarthy, was then asked what she thought about the matter – though her answer should surprise no one, as she’s been a vocal critic of the former president.
“I don’t believe he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country,” Cheney said, as a visibly annoyed McCarthy stood silently.
“On that high note, thank you very much,” McCarthy then said, ending the press conference.
Q: Do you believe former President Trump should speaking at CPAC?@GOPLeader: “Yes he should.”@RepLizCheney: “That’s up to CPAC….I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.” McCarthy: “On that high note, thank you very much.” pic.twitter.com/ZOkTUbpQCP
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 24, 2021
Cheney has not been particularly popular among Trump-supporting Republicans in recent weeks, following numerous criticisms of the former president as well as a vote to impeach him over the January 6 US Capitol riot.
Many have accused Cheney of playing up her criticism of Trump as a way to secure a possible future in the media in case she loses reelection.
“Liz Cheney knows she can’t get reelected in Wyoming because the people there hate her, so she’s trying hard to make sure her new friends at CNN will hire her once she loses her primary,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.
Liz Cheney knows she can’t get reelected in Wyoming because the people there hate her, so she’s trying hard to make sure her new friends at CNN will hire her once she loses her primary. #LincolnProjectLiz is less popular with Republicans than Andrew Cuomo is at nursing homes!!! https://t.co/IBZkim3YgI
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 24, 2021
“Hey Liz- Trump got 74 million votes; you 186,000. A lot of us think Trump has a role but you don’t,” Mike Huckabee added.
Others accused her of “dividing” the Republican Party and lamented the fractured state of conservatives, exemplified by McCarthy and Cheney’s public disagreement.
“The most frustrating part about this is it was a complete setup question intended to increase divisions and conflict within the GOP and Liz Cheney gives the media exactly what they want,” Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra tweeted.
Cheney has, however, received praise from Trump critics who have lauded her for going against the majority in her own party.
“I disagree with Liz Cheney on many, many things. But I have nothing but respect for the way she continues to ignore enormous pressure to protect Trump,” CNN’s Frida Ghitis tweeted, adding praise for Cheney being “courageous.”
I disagree with Liz Cheney on many, many things. But I have nothing but respect for the way she continues to ignore enormous pressure to protect Trump. She’s far more courageous than @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy or @LeaderMcConnell or the vast majority of today’s GOP officials https://t.co/J9yNiyD4Gt
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) February 24, 2021
Wow! Brava Liz Cheney, on the former guy speaking at QPAC:”I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.” https://t.co/8WVI3AFGq2
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) February 24, 2021
Cheney previously said this week Republicans must “make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy” during a talk blasting Trump and conservatives who support him.
The Wyoming congresswoman, the third highest ranking House GOP leader, was previously censured by the Wyoming Republican Party for her vote to impeach Trump.
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