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Cheney:  Jan. 6 Riot Could Happen Again05/17 06:11

   

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Liz Cheney, newly ousted from House Republican 
leadership for challenging former President Donald Trump, criticized GOP 
colleagues Sunday for downplaying the Jan. 6 riot and condoning Trump's lies 
that the 2020 election was stolen, saying they were "complicit" in undermining 
democracy.

   In television interviews, the Wyoming Republican said there was "no 
question" an attack like Jan. 6 could happen again if Trump's claims go 
unchecked.

   "I think it's dangerous," Cheney said. "I think that we have to recognize 
how quickly things can unravel. We have to recognize what it means for the 
nation to have a former president who has not conceded and who continues to 
suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the 
people."

   "We've seen not only his provocation of the attack, but his refusal to send 
help when it was needed, his refusal to immediately say, 'Stop,'" she added.

   Asked in a separate interview if she believes House Republican leader Kevin 
McCarthy of California and Rep. Elise Stefanik, who replaced Cheney in the No. 
3 leadership job, are complicit by embracing Trump, Cheney responded: "They 
are."

   "I'm not willing to do that," she said. "We all have an obligation to stand 
up against that."

   Stefanik, a Trump stalwart from upstate New York, was elected Friday to the 
leadership post by House Republicans after they voted to remove Cheney on 
Wednesday. Stefanik has a moderate voting record but had strong backing from 
Trump and other party leaders.

   Speaking Sunday, Stefanik described Republicans as now "unified" in their 
goal of beating Democrats, with Trump playing a key role in the GOP's future 
success.

   "He is the leader of the Republican Party," Stefanik said. "Voters determine 
the leader of the Republican Party. And they continue to look to President 
Trump for his vision."

   Cheney on Sunday called it indefensible that some GOP colleagues, such as 
Reps. Andrew Clyde of Georgia and Louie Gohmert of Texas, suggested last week 
that the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6 posed no real threat, with Clyde 
likening it to a "normal tourist visit."

   "The notion that this was somehow a tourist event is disgraceful and 
despicable," Cheney said. "And, you know, I won't be part of whitewashing what 
happened on Jan. 6. Nobody should be part of it. And people ought to be held 
accountable."

   She also said McCarthy should testify before a bipartisan commission that is 
investigating the riot because he has key facts about Trump's "state of mind" 
on that day, including whether the former president knew the proceedings were 
turning violent and did nothing to stop it.

   "He clearly has facts about that day, that an investigation into what 
happened, into the president's actions, ought to get to the bottom of," Cheney 
said. "And I think that he has important information that needs to be part of 
any investigation, whether it's the FBI, the Department of Justice, or this 
commission."

   Speaking about her future, Cheney said she now regrets voting for Trump last 
November and did not expressly rule out a presidential bid of her own in 2024, 
admitting that her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, would like to see 
her run though "he's not objective."

   "At this moment, the majority of the Republican Party is not where I am," 
she said.

   Cheney appeared on ABC's "This Week" and "Fox News Sunday" and Stefanik 
spoke on Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures."

 
 
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