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Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders'

Reps. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzKinzinger: Conspiracy theory FBI planned Jan. 6 example of 'legacy of Trump and Trumpism' 21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol Florida congressional candidate says opponents conspiring to kill her MORE (Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (Ga.) on Friday argued that they were "ahead" of their Republican colleagues in an effort to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) from her role in GOP leadership.

Cheney, the House Republican Conference chairwoman, is facing a vote next week on whether she should keep her position. The vote is shaping up to be a loyalty test to former President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE, whom Cheney has vocally criticized.

Gaetz and Greene, who have put themselves forward as some of Trump's most ardent defenders in Congress, spoke during an event Friday at The Villages in Florida, the first stop on their “America First Tour.”

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The pair noted that they have long pressed for Cheney's removal from her leadership post after she voted earlier this year to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 mob attack at the U.S. Capitol.

While House Republicans in February voted 145-61 to keep Cheney as the No. 3 GOP leader, Gaetz on Friday said that his colleagues have now “caught up” in their desire to oust the Wyoming lawmaker.

“We’re all about inviting people’s input and their thought process to the political right, but when somebody’s fundamental view is that we don’t need to work on election integrity, we don’t need to worry about the crisis at the border, we can find four more countries to invade before lunchtime tomorrow, that person should not be the spokesperson of the Republican Party,” Gaetz argued. 

“I’m glad our colleagues have caught up. Maybe we’re the leaders, Marjorie,” he added, prompting applause from audience members. 

Greene echoed this sentiment, noting, “We voted to kick her out a few months ago.”

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“We were ahead on this,” added Greene, who herself was removed from her committee assignments earlier this year over past social media posts and statements indicating support for executing Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Trump against boycotting Beijing Olympics in 2022 House Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May MORE (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders as well as advancing several conspiracy theories. 

The comments come as Gaetz is being investigated by federal authorities over whether he had sex with a minor and paid for her travel as well as whether he engaged in other sexual relationships in exchange for payment. 

While Cheney was able to secure enough support to remain in her leadership post earlier this year, her future is now clouded with uncertainty as a growing number of Republicans have vowed to vote to replace her next week with Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Canadian ambassador calls for close coordination in handling of US border Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision MORE (R-N.Y.).

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision FCC votes to advance proposed ban on Chinese telecom equipment MORE (R-La.) and his boss, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package MORE (R-Calif.), have indicated support for removing Cheney over arguments that she has repeatedly undermined GOP messaging and efforts to take back control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections.

Cheney has revealed growing rifts among Republicans due to her continued opposition to Trump’s hold on the party, and Trump himself has vowed to support any primary challenger to the congresswoman. 

Cheney has continued to double down on her opposition to Trump, writing in a Washington Post op-ed this week, “The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.”