Trump derided Cheney in personal terms in a statement following a vote to oust her as House Republican Conference chair over her repeated criticisms of the former president and his frequent, unproven claims about the 2020 election.
“Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being. I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party,” Trump said in a statement, referencing a speech in which Cheney vowed she would not remain silent about Trump’s election lies.
Trump also dismissed Cheney as a “talking point for Democrats,” suggesting she was a distraction from issues like the border and economy.
“She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the never-ending Middle East Disaster, draining our wealth and depleting our Great Military, the worst decision in our Country’s history,” Trump said. “I look forward to soon watching her as a Paid Contributor on CNN or MSDNC!”
House Republicans voted earlier Wednesday to purge Cheney from her leadership post via voice vote, meaning there would be no tally of the lawmakers who voted to dump her, or of those who wanted her to stay on. Sources inside the closed-door vote said it was an overwhelming vote against Cheney.
That represents a remarkable shift from a similar challenge to her leadership status in February when she won handily. And Wednesday’s vote marked the first time in recent memory that a congressional GOP leader was toppled by rank-and-file Republicans in the middle of their term through a formal vote.
Cheney has for months spoken out against Trump and his rhetoric around the 2020 election. She was among the 10 House Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, and in the time since she has warned that Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the election was fraudulent threaten the fabric of the country.
“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that,” Cheney said in a floor speech on Tuesday. “I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”
Trump is expected to back a primary challenger to Cheney in next year’s midterm elections, while the congresswoman has pledged to continue speaking out against the former president. She told reporters following Wednesday’s vote that she would do whatever it takes to keep Trump out of the Oval Office.