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
In television interviews, the Wyoming Republican said there was "no
question" an attack like Jan. 6 could happen again if Trump's claims go
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
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,"
Cheney appeared on ABC's "This Week" and "Fox News Sunday" and Stefanik
spoke on Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures."