Romney rips GOP censure effort against Cheney, Kinzinger

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah


Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Friday criticized the Republican National Committee's (RNC) effort to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), saying he considered the move by their fellow Republicans shameful.

Romney, a leading critic of former President Trump within the Senate GOP conference, signaled his support for Cheney and Kinzinger, also both prominent Trump critics, and said in a tweet that "shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol."

He praised them for seeking answers despite the professional and personal consequences. Both Cheney and Kinzinger are serving on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, the only two Republicans to do so.

"Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost," he added.

Romney's statements stand in stark contrast to those of his niece, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who spoke in favor of the resolution that was passed by the resolutions committee on Thursday. McDaniel has previously condemned her uncle for criticizing Trump.

Trump and the events of Jan. 6 have divided the GOP as the former president continues to exert enormous influence within the party.

Cheney and Kinzinger were among 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump following the attack on the Capitol. Following her vote, Cheney was removed from GOP leadership in the chamber for repeatedly pushing back against Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Romney similarly condemned Trump following the events of Jan. 6, explicitly declaring that the former president had "incited the insurrection" that led to 5 deaths and hundreds of injuries, many of them sustained by Capitol Police officers. The Utah senator was one of seven Republicans in the upper chamber to vote to convict Trump on an impeachment charge after the attack.

Romney was censured by the Weber County GOP in Utah for voting to convict Trump last year.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who also voted to convict Trump following Jan. 6, questioned the RNC's move toward censuring Cheney and Kinzinger in a Twitter post on Thursday night.

Romney, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, is also set to participate in a fundraiser for Cheney in March as the Wyoming incumbent looks to protect her seat against Trump-endorsed Republican primary challenger Harriet Hageman. Kinzinger, meanwhile, announced he is leaving the House at the end of his term.

The RNC's full body is expected to consider the resolution to censure the two Republicans at its winter meeting on Friday.

Both Cheney and Kinzinger issued strong statements in response to the RNC resolution.

In a statement, Kinzinger said he is now "even more committed to fighting conspiracies and lies."