Stefanik calls Cheney 'Pelosi pawn' over Jan. 6 criticism

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikLawmakers laud diversity gains in Congress Majority of Americans express dissatisfaction with democracy, and gerrymanderers race to the bottom Wyoming county GOP rejects effort to rescind Cheney's party status MORE (R-N.Y.) called Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyBennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump Anti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover Thiel backing Trump-supported challenger to Cheney: report MORE (R-Wyo.) a "Pelosi pawn" Tuesday night following the first day the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection heard testimony from Capitol Police officers. 

During an episode of Fox News's "Hannity" Tuesday night, the No. 3 Republican said, "when it comes to Liz Cheney, she is a Pelosi Republican, a Pelosi pawn at this point." 

"She does not represent the Republican conference, or Republican voters, or the American people," Stefanik added.

Cheney, a vociferous critic of former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE, was chosen by House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan Photos of the Week: Climate protests, Blue Origin and a koala MORE (D-Calif.) to serve on the select committee to investigate the events of the deadly Jan. 6 riots. 

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During the first day of hearings Tuesday, Cheney offered a cutting rebuke of the former president and his role in the attack, asking Capitol Police officers who were present on that day what they thought of Trump's comment that the rioters were a "loving" crowd. 

“When you think about that and share with us the vivid memory of the cruelty and the violence of the assault that day and then you hear former President Trump say quote ‘It was a loving crowd. There was a lot of love in the crowd,’ how does that make you feel?” Cheney asked U.S. Capitol Police Officer Aquilino Gonell. 

The officer responded: “It’s upsetting. It’s a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create — this monstrosity. I'm still recovering from those 'hugs and kisses' that day,” he said.

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySchiff: McCarthy 'will do whatever Trump tells him' if GOP wins back House House GOP campaign arm raises .8 million in third quarter McCarthy raises nearly M so far this year MORE (R-Calif.) made similar remarks to Stefanik on Monday, deriding Cheney and Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerIllinois Democrats propose new 'maximized' congressional map Anti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision MORE (Ill.), the only Republicans serving on the panel, as "Pelosi Republicans."

Stefanik's comments on Tuesday mark the latest back and forth between her and Cheney.

After Stefanik said earlier on Tuesday that Americans "deserve to know the truth — that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as Speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on January 6," Cheney hit back at her remarks on CNN's "The Lead."

"If I were saying the things that you just played, I'd be deeply ashamed of myself. What happened is absolutely clear. We had, as we heard this morning, just intolerable cruelty. A mob that was assembled by President Trump, was provoked by him," Cheney said.

Stefanik took Cheney's place as the House Republican Conference Chair in May after Cheney was ousted in a private vote.