Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, said in an excerpt of an interview released Friday that “there is absolutely a cult of personality around Donald Trump.”
“We have too many people now in the Republican Party who are not taking their responsibilities seriously, and who have pledged their allegiance and loyalty to Donald Trump. I mean it is fundamentally antithetical — it is contrary to everything conservatives believe to embrace a personality cult,” Cheney told CBS’s Robert Costa. “And yet that is what so many in my party are doing today.”
Costa asked Cheney if the Republican Party was a personality cult, to which she responded, “I think that large segments of it have certainly become that.” She added later: “Yeah, I mean, I think there is absolutely a cult of personality around Donald Trump.”
Cheney, one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment, was removed from House GOP leadership last year and then censured by the Republican National Committee (RNC) in February for bucking party leaders to serve on the panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot.
Cheney is running for reelection to Wyoming’s at-large district, a seat she has held since 2017. She launched her reelection bid late last month and is fighting against Trump-backed challenger attorney Harriet Hageman.
The former president spoke out against Cheney at a rally in Casper, Wyoming, last weekend, calling her a “backstabbing RINO” (Republican In Name Only), for serving on the predominantly Democratic Jan. 6 panel.
“Few members of Congress in history have personally caused more damage and destruction to our Republican Party,” Trump said Saturday. “She’s aided and abetted the radical Democrat Party in one of the most unhinged, lawless, and dangerous witch hunts of all time.”
Cheney has been a fierce critic of Republican leadership, including last month, when she argued that “the House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism” following a shooting in Buffalo, New York, where 11 of the 13 victims were Black.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to her comments, saying: “Same thing Cheney always does, just trying to play a political game when she knows something’s not true.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLITICO