Sources inside a closed-door session Wednesday morning said lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to oust Cheney, who had attracted growing pushback from Trump allies in Congress for repeatedly refuting his claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election and blaming him for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In remarks to reporters immediately following the vote, Cheney doubled down on her vow to continue countering Trump’s message, saying, “We must go forward based on truth.”
“We cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the Constitution,” she said, adding “the nation needs a strong Republican Party” and a “party based on fundamental principles of conservatism.”
In response to a reporter’s question on whether she was “concerned” that Trump will launch another presidential bid in 2024, Cheney said, “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
“We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language, we have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution, and I think it’s very important that we make sure whomever we elect is somebody who will be faithful to the Constitution,” she added.
When asked Wednesday if she felt “betrayed” by her removal as the No. 3 House Republican, she said, “I do not,” adding she believed it was “an indication of where the Republican Party is.”
“I think that the party is in a place that we have got to bring it back from, and we’ve got to get back to a position where we are a party that can fight for conservative principles, that can fight for substance,” she said. “We cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president.”
Trump, who has vowed to support a 2022 primary challenger to Cheney and other Republicans who voted for his impeachment, said in a statement celebrating the House vote that he looked forward “to soon watching her as a Paid Contributor on CNN or MSDNC!”
“Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being,” Trump added. “I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party.”
Cheney is expected to be replaced as GOP conference chair by moderate Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), a staunch Trump ally, by the end of this week, though some Republicans have argued that Stefanik is not conservative enough to lead the conference.