Administration

White House: ‘Disturbing’ to see Cheney booted for telling the truth

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday called it “disturbing” to see House Republicans force Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) from her leadership position for criticizing former President Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election.

“It’s disturbing to see any leader, regardless of party, being attacked for simply speaking the truth. As the president said last week, it’s hard to understand,” Psaki said at a briefing with reporters.

“But our belief, [President Biden’s] belief, is the American people will have to make their own decisions about whether the reaction by the people they elected to represent them should be embracing and elevating conspiracies and attacks on our democracy, or whether it should be standing up for ideals that have historically been owned by both Democrats and Republicans representing the country throughout history,” she added, noting that dozens of judges rejected lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

House Republicans voted Wednesday morning to purge Cheney from her post as House Republican Conference chairwoman via voice vote, meaning there would be no tally of the lawmakers who voted to dump her, or of those who wanted her to stay on. Sources inside the closed-door vote said it was an overwhelming vote against Cheney.

Cheney had easily survived a call for her removal in February, underscoring how the party has fallen in line behind Trump despite his role inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and his continued false statements about the 2020 election months after leaving office.

Cheney has for months spoken out against Trump and his rhetoric around the 2020 election. She was among the 10 House Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 mob at the Capitol, and in the time since she has warned that Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the election was fraudulent threaten the fabric of the country.

“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that,” Cheney said in a floor speech on Tuesday. “I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”

Biden last week said he did not understand the Republicans when asked about the push to oust Cheney. He went on to suggest the GOP is in the midst of a “mini revolution” and is figuring out what direction it will take as a party.

Cheney remained defiant after the vote, saying “we have seen the danger that [Trump] continues to provoke” with his rhetoric and false claims.

“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” she told reporters.

Tags 2020 2020 election Capitol breach Capitol insurrection Capitol riot Cheney ouster Donald Trump Jen Psaki Joe Biden Liz Cheney

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