Rep. Liz Cheney says House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy 'changed his story' on the Capitol riot

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Liz Cheney Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Liz Cheney at a news conference with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on July 21. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney wrote an op-ed article for The Washington Post on Wednesday in which she called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying he had "changed his story" on the US Capitol riot.

Earlier this week, a hot mic caught McCarthy saying he'd "had it with her" after an interview with "Fox and Friends," signaling his and the House GOP's waning support for Cheney, who serves as the House Republican Conference chair. McCarthy and his Republican allies have bristled at Cheney's public criticism of former President Donald Trump.

In the op-ed article, Cheney said that the GOP had reached a "turning point" post-Trump and that "Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution." She pointed to GOP lawmakers' reactions to the January 6 siege, and specifically to McCarthy's public comments about it.

"House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks," Cheney wrote. "On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: 'The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.'"

"Now, McCarthy has changed his story," she continued.

She went on to slam some GOP lawmakers' continued support for Trump after he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. Cheney called her party's ongoing fealty to Trump "immensely harmful."

"While embracing or ignoring Trump's statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country," Cheney wrote. "Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people."

Cheney's article came one day after McCarthy said in the Tuesday "Fox and Friends" interview that he had heard "from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message."

"We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority" in the 2022 midterm elections, he said Tuesday.

In an off-air comment to the host Steve Doocy, McCarthy could be heard saying he "lost confidence" in her as a Republican leader in the House, Axios reported Tuesday.

"You know, I've lost confidence," McCarthy said. "Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place."

In response to McCarthy's comments on Fox News, Cheney's communication director, Jeremy Adler, said: "This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6. Liz will not do that. That is the issue."

It is not immediately clear whether the statement was responding solely to McCarthy's on-air remarks or addressed the off-air comment as well.

Cheney's public criticisms of the GOP and Trump come in stark contrast with the silent response from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has refused to answer questions from reporters about the former president.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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