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Van Hollen says members should stand with Cheney on election claims

Van Hollen says members should stand with Cheney on election claims
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' Bass, Van Hollen to reintroduce bill to reform handling of nonviolent 911 calls Democrats to introduce bill to prevent default recurring political donations MORE (D-Md.) stuck up for dethroned House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyDemocrat Matt Putorti challenges Stefanik for NY House seat Juan Williams: GOP preparing the ground to steal an election Biden fails to break GOP 'fever' MORE (Wyo.) on Wednesday, warning the election disinformation she spoke out against could “spur domestic violent extremists to engage in violence this year.”

“Look I disagree with Congresswoman Liz Cheney on a lot of things, but I think everybody needs to stand with her regardless of political party when she stands up to talk about the truth,” he said.

House GOP members voted to boot Cheney Wednesday morning in a closed-door meeting after she repeatedly called out former President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE for his falsehoods about his election defeat, including blaming him for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

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Van Hollen said Cheney’s stance “squares fully” with an intelligence community assessment warning that narratives of fraud in the election are contributing to extremist activity.

“It's not ambiguous here, it says these kinds of false narratives will almost certainly spur domestic violent extremists to try to engage in violence this year,” he said.

“I would just encourage all of our colleagues to recognize that words matter. I mean, people have a First Amendment right and they can say what they want but they should also recognize the very dangerous consequences of the false narratives that continue to be peddled around this place and coming from the former president,” he said.

The March report mentioned by Van Hollen found militia groups and white nationalists in particular pose an elevated terror threat.

“Narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence—will almost certainly spur some [domestic violent extremists] to try to engage in violence this year,” according to the report.