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

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikWyoming county GOP rejects effort to rescind Cheney's party status Stefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' GOP leader taking proxy voting fight to Supreme Court MORE (R-N.Y.) called Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Wyoming county GOP rejects effort to rescind Cheney's party status 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 TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE, was chosen by House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan 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 McCarthyOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Top Democrats tout California recall with an eye toward 2022 Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE (R-Calif.) made similar remarks to Stefanik on Monday, deriding Cheney and Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Blinken grilled in first hearing since Afghanistan withdrawal 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.