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GOP leader Kevin McCarthy privately ripped into Rep. Liz Cheney on Tuesday.
"I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence," McCarthy told Fox during off-air remarks that were picked up on a hot mic.
McCarthy suggested that Cheney may lose her Republican leadership post.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday spoke harshly about fellow GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, saying the No. 3 House Republican has "got real problems," according to an audio recording reviewed by Axios.
"I've had it with her," the Republican leader told "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy in off-air remarks that were caught on a hot mic. "You know, I've lost confidence."
McCarthy continued to riff about Cheney, who serves as chair of the House Republican Conference, and appeared to suggest that she could likely be removed from her leadership position through a GOP vote.
"Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place," McCarthy told Doocy.
McCarthy did not offer as blunt an assessment about Cheney during the live interview, but he attempted to distance himself from the congresswoman, who continues to face backlash for her public criticisms of former President Donald Trump.
"I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message," McCarthy said. "We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority [in the 2022 midterm elections]."
McCarthy's and Cheney's offices did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.
But Cheney's communications director issued a statement, reiterating her take on the issue. "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," Jeremy Adler said.
This is not the first time Cheney's leadership status has been at stake in recent months. Several Republican lawmakers called for Cheney's ouster in January after she voted in support of Trump's impeachment related to the January 6 insurrection. Yet Cheney managed to retain her position as not enough GOP members backed her removal.
At the time, McCarthy did not take sides and attempted to bridge the divide in his caucus. In April, he declined to say if Cheney is still "a good fit" for GOP leadership, adding: "That's a question for the conference." So Tuesday's Fox interview marked a shift from his previous neutral position.
In the immediate aftermath of the deadly Capitol riot, McCarthy pinned some of the responsibility on Trump. But, he has since taken to maintaining his ties with the former president and recently even defended Trump over his role in the Capitol attack.
Cheney, on the other hand, has been publicly and consistently anti-Trump following the insurrection. On Monday, she fired back at Trump after he continued to falsely claim that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.
"The 2020 presidential election was not stolen," Cheney tweeted. "Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who also voted in favor of Trump's impeachment, came to Cheney's defense on Tuesday afternoon.
"Liz Cheney refuses to lie," Romney tweeted. "As one of my Republican Senate colleagues said to me following my impeachment vote: 'I wouldn't want to be a member of a group that punished someone for following their conscience.'"
Read the original article on Business Insider