Liz Cheney in a recent ABC interview said Kevin McCarthy had been "unfaithful to the Constitution."
"I don't believe he should be Speaker of the House," she said of his potential rise in a GOP House.
Cheney on Tuesday lost the Wyoming Republican House primary to attorney Harriet Hageman.
Rep. Liz Cheney in an interview that aired on Friday railed against Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy potentially becoming House speaker if Republicans retake control of the lower chamber this November, arguing that he had been "unfaithful to the Constitution."
In an interview with ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl, Cheney — who on Tuesday was defeated in the Wyoming GOP House primary by attorney Harriet Hageman — said McCarthy had "a total lack of understanding" of the role of the speakership after she was asked if the country would be better or worse off with him in power.
"Well, my views about Kevin McCarthy are very clear. Speaker of the House is the second in line for the presidency. It requires somebody who understands and recognizes their duty, their oath, their obligation," Cheney said of the California lawmaker on ABC's "This Week."
"And he's been completely unfaithful to the Constitution and demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the significance and the importance of the role of Speaker, so I don't believe he should be Speaker of the House. And I think that's been very clear," she added.
After breaking with Trump over his debunked claims regarding the 2020 election, along with his conduct on January 6, 2021, Cheney impeached him for "incitement of insurrection," joining a cadre of nine other House Republicans who took that action. (Of the ten House Republicans who backed Trump's second impeachment, only two might be serving in Congress in 2023.)
After continuing to speak out against the former president, Cheney, who was once the No. 3 House Republican, saw her relationship with McCarthy deteriorate and she was later removed from leadership by the GOP conference.
Cheney went on to become the vice chair of the House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the Capitol, much to ire of most Republican lawmakers, who have overwhelmingly sought to move on from the events of that day.
McCarthy went on to endorse Hageman in her now-successful effort to defeat Cheney in the party primary.
While speaking to supports on Tuesday, Cheney reiterated that she could have cruised to renomination this year, but refused to adhere to Trump's rejection of the 2020 election results and his push to overturn now-President Joe Biden's victory.
"It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel a democratic system and attack the foundations of our Republic. That was a path I could not and would not take," she said at the time.
"No House seat, no office in this land is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect. And I well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty," she added.
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