Cheney, Turner request return of donations to Massie's primary opponent after racist tweets surface

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Graham vows GOP will accept election results after Trump comments Liz Cheney promises peaceful transfer of power: 'Fundamental to the survival of our Republic' MORE (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) are requesting the return of contributions made to Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieRon Paul hospitalized in Texas GOP lawmaker praises Kyle Rittenhouse's 'restraint' for not emptying magazine during shooting Rep. Dan Meuser tests positive for COVID-19 MORE’s (R-Ky.) primary opponent, Todd McMurtry, after news broke that the candidate posted racist tweets in the past. 

Cheney — the No. 3 Republican in the House who led efforts to publicly denounce Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingTrump, Biden deadlocked in Iowa: poll GOP leader: 'There is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party' Loomer win creates bigger problem for House GOP MORE (R-Iowa) over remarks he made last year about white supremacy and Western civilization — said she was unaware of the comments when the donation was made and that racism should not be tolerated by the party. Turner echoed the Wyoming Republican's comments.

“We as Republicans must not condone racism in any form. Last night I was alerted to tweets by a candidate to whom my political action committee made a contribution. After reviewing the tweets, I asked that the contribution be returned,” Cheney tweeted on Saturday. 

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

In October, McMurtry reportedly tweeted: "I am in Austin this weekend. Glad to be in this group. #redneck #racist #f---wit Just had the best BBQ of my life."

Massie and Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump faces tricky choice on Supreme Court pick Florida attorney general scrutinizing Bloomberg paying fines for felons to vote Lara Trump campaigns with far-right activist candidate Laura Loomer in Florida MORE (R-Fla.) took to Twitter to take aim at the Wyoming Republican for the donation to McMurtry.

"@RepLizCheney is the @HouseGOP Chair, guides House GOP messaging, runs all House GOP meetings, and is actively working to elect this guy. Is this her vision for the GOP Conference?" Massie tweeted on Saturday morning.

Massie then went after Turner, alleging that his rebuke of McMurtry’s comments wasn’t strong enough.

.@RepMikeTurner doesn’t even have words for getting caught inviting racism into the party. It’s #refundseason,” he tweeted. 

Gaetz — who previously had tension with Cheney over a vote on war powers earlier this year — defended Massie. 

“.@Liz_Cheney is the GOP Conference Chair. She has $ supported this proudly racist candidate. She owes Republicans an explanation.  Liz - How do you square your support of McMurtry w what you said about Steve King? Do we tolerate Racism if it’s Anti-Massie? Or paired w BBQ?” he tweeted.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cheney, Turner and the Republican Jewish Coalition made donations to McMurtry after Massie forced members to return to Washington to vote on a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package amid the pandemic last month. 

Massie’s move sparked strong backlash from members on both sides of the aisle and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE, who argued the Libertarian was putting his congressional colleagues and staff at risk during a health emergency. 

"Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @RepThomasMassie, a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress. He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous & costly," Trump tweeted ahead of the vote on the stimulus package.

"Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is 'HELL' dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the 'big picture' done. 90% GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!" he added.

Massie at the time argued against passing legislation of that magnitude by unanimous consent because "our republic doesn’t die by unanimous consent."

Updated: 3:26 p.m.