President Trump issued a statement Wednesday endorsing Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as the GOP House Conference Chair–the third highest position behind Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).
Cheney’s days are numbered as this week McCarthy was caught on a hot mic saying he’s “had it with her”, while the subscription site Punchbowl News reported McCarthy and and Scalise have endorsed Stefanik to replace Cheney.
BREAKING: @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy and @SteveScalise turn on Cheney, back Stefanik for conference chair.@PunchbowlNews AM is out https://t.co/4XGDpUp2KJ
— Punchbowl News (@PunchbowlNews) May 5, 2021
Stefanik, serving her fourth term, has been a staunch supporter of Trump, making a name for herself defending Trump in his two impeachments. Cheney, serving her second term, has fallen out of favor with the Republican House caucus for supporting Trump’s impeachment over the January 6 Capitol riot and for repeatedly attacking Trump over his belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
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Trump statement endorsing Stefanik is the second on Cheney issued Wednesday:
“Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership. We want leaders who believe in the Make America Great Again movement, and prioritize the values of America First. Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!”
Trump’s previous statement attacked Cheney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over the fight over the election, while mentioning Vice President Pence without any personal insult.
“Warmonger Liz Cheney, who has virtually no support left in the Great State of Wyoming, continues to unknowingly and foolishly say that there was no Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election when in fact, the evidence, including no Legislative approvals as demanded by the U.S. Constitution, shows the exact opposite. Had Mike Pence referred the information on six states (only need two) back to State Legislatures, and had gutless and clueless MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell (he blew two seats in Georgia that should have never been lost) fought to expose all of the corruption that was presented at the time, with more found since, we would have had a far different Presidential result, and our Country would not be turning into a socialist nightmare! Never give up!”
It will take a two-thirds majority of Republican House members to remove Cheney. A secret vote in February to remove Cheney from her post failed with only 61 Republicans voting against Cheney and 145 voting for her.
Reuters reported Wednesday the earliest a new vote could come would be May 12 when the House returns from a break.
Jeremy Adler, spokesman for Cheney, issued a statement Tuesday on McCarthy’s comments, saying, “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.”
Adler issued a statement Wednesday morning reacting to news of Scalise endorsing Stefanik, ““Liz will have more to say in the coming days. This moment is about much more than a House leadership fight.”
NEW: Cheney spox Jeremy Adler tells me re news Minority Whip Steve Scalise is publicly supporting Stefanik to replace Cheney as conference chair:
“Liz will have more to say in the coming days. This moment is about much more than a House leadership fight.”
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) May 5, 2021
The Wall Street Journal editorial board warned Republicans that replacing Cheney would “diminish the GOP.”
From @WSJopinion: Ousting Liz Cheney from the House Republican leadership for telling the truth to voters about the 2020 election would diminish the GOP, writes The Editorial Board https://t.co/90HKzf6KNa
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 5, 2021
Anti-Trump Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is one of the few Republicans standing by Cheney, “Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie. 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.”
Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie. 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.”
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 4, 2021