Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said many Republican members of Congress have privately encouraged her for taking a stand against former President Donald Trump but won’t make those comments in public.
During an interview with Lesley Stahl on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Cheney said both House and Senate Republicans have quietly supported her. Cheney, a vocal critic of Trump’s 2020 election disinformation, was in May ousted from her leadership role in the GOP for supporting Trump’s impeachment after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“Have members of Congress, Republicans, come up to you privately and whispered in your ear, ‘Way to go, Liz’ and encouraged you, but won’t come forward and say that publicly?” Stahl asked Cheney.
″Yes. A lot,” Cheney replied.
Asked why those who admire and encourage her stance won’t join her, Cheney said it often came down to the fear that acting against Trump would come with political risks.
“The argument that you often hear is that if you do something that is perceived as against Trump that, you’ll put yourself in political peril,” she said.
“And that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because if Republican leaders don’t stand up and condemn what happened, then the voices in the party that are so dangerous will only get louder and stronger.”
Cheney said the way to fight untruths ― like Trump’s false narrative that the 2020 election was rife with fraud ― was to challenge it.
″Silence enables the liar,” she said. “And silence helps it to spread. And so the first thing you have to do is say no, I’m not going to accept that we’re going to live in a post-truth world. It’s a toxin, Lesley, in our political bloodstream.
“Because when we allow that to continue to go on in the face of rulings of the courts, in the face of recounts, in the face of everything that’s gone on to demonstrate that there was not fraud that would have changed the outcome … If we do that, we are contributing to the undermining of our system.”
Cheney, one of two Republican members of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, has been the target of personal attacks from Trump since challenging his falsehoods about his electoral loss, and faces a tough reelection fight as the former president and his allies work to unseat her in the primary.
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