Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement on Monday, Feb. 1, backing House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney amid backlash over her vote to impeach former President Trump.
“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell said in a statement to CNN. “She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”
Cheney was one of only 10 Republicans who crossed party lines to impeach President Trump. In a statement explaining her reasons for voting to impeach the former president, Cheney said Trump “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
Cheney’s decision to vote in favor of impeaching Trump drew rebukes from conservatives and her state party. Last month, Carbon County, Wyoming, Republicans formally censured Cheney for her vote.
“Representative Cheney has violated the trust of her voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters, and neglected her duty to represent the party and the will of the people who elected her to represent them,” the resolution stated.
According to Politico, a majority of the House Republican Conference, at least 107 House members, has committed to vote to remove Cheney from her leadership post. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he doesn’t intend to remove Cheney, while Cheney herself has rejected calls for her to step down.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Cheney said. “This is a vote of conscience. It’s one where there are different views in our conference.”
Last week, McConnell, who blamed the former president for provoking the rioters in a speech on the Senate floor earlier this month, sided with 44 Republicans in the Senate to vote to dismiss Trump’s second impeachment trial.
In a separate statement, McConnell lambasted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) without mentioning her by name, calling her embrace of conspiracy theories a “cancer” for the party.
“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country,” McConnell said in a statement, reported The Hill. “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”