'I don't know how you explain that to your children,' Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) told '60 Minutes.'
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) had choice words for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during an interview broadcast Sunday night on CBS News' "60 Minutes," saying the California Republican's continued embrace of former President Donald Trump is "unforgivable."
"What he's done is embrace Donald Trump. And if I were doing what he's doing, I would be deeply ashamed of myself," Cheney said. "I don't know how you explain that to your children."
Cheney criticized McCarthy for his actions regarding Trump since the Jan. 6 riot by his followers at the U.S. Capitol: "There's a difference between somebody who voted for Donald Trump and being the Republican leader after an insurrection, and setting all of that aside and going to Mar-a-Lago, and rehabilitating him, bringing him back in. That to me is unforgivable."
Cheney was ousted from her leadership role in the House Republican conference in May over her criticism of Trump.
She's called Trump dangerous for his fomentation of the Jan. 6 insurrection, which left multiple people dead and injured roughly 140 law enforcement officers, some of whom continue to struggle in the aftermath.
And she's vowed to investigate the origins of the attack, slamming members of her own party, including the House minority leader, for not denouncing Trump or workin to prevent future attacks.
Trump has endorsed Harriet Hageman, who is running against Cheney in the Republican primary for Wyoming's only House seat.
Cheney is one of just a few Republicans who have been outspoken about Trump's and other GOP lawmakers' roles in the insurrection and who could face electoral consequences for their behavior.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) decided to retire rather than run for reelection, saying in a statement in February, "While my desire to build a fuller family life is at the heart of my decision, it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party, is a significant factor in my decision."
Members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus have called for Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), another vocal critic, to be expelled from the GOP caucus after they accepted invitations from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to sit on the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
In an interview with the Atlantic published on Sept. 23, Kinzinger said of the GOP, "I don't have a tribe. The good thing is, I don't really care. The only reason this hurts me is that it reminds me of how frigging crazy the Republican Party has become.
Kinzinger mentioned two members of House as examples of the extremism that has taken over his party:
Madison Cawthorn can invoke coming bloodshed, and Paul Gosar can flirt with white nationalism, and they're signing a letter asking to have me kicked out of the caucus. This is how far the Republican Party has fallen. They call me a RINO, but I haven't changed. The Republican Party has changed into an authoritarian Trump organization. They're the RINOs. Trump is a RINO.
While Cheney has criticized Trump as a person, she supported his policies while he was in office. FiveThirtyEight tracked members of Congress' history of voting for Trump's policies during his one term and found Cheney voted for Trump's position 92.9% of the time. She has said that her opposition to Trump is about not his policies but rather the behavior he exhibited on Jan. 6 and after.
"In my view, the American people, they deserve better than having to choose between what I think are the really disastrous policies of Joe Biden — in a whole range of areas, really bad for our economy," Cheney told "60 Minutes. "But the alternative cannot be a man who doesn't believe in the rule of law, and who violated his oath of office."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.