Liz Cheney: Republicans Denying Trump Is Responsible for 'Insurrection' Are 'Shameful'

Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Tuesday on CNN’s “The Lead” that she believed Republicans denying the severity of the January 6 Capitol riot and former President Donald Trump’s responsibility were “shameful.”

Anchor Jake Tapper said, “One of the things I find so troubling about all of this is you and Adam Kinzinger, and others are saying that they tried to steal the election, these MAGA forces tried to steal the election once, and they’re going to try again. And we don’t hear Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik say, ‘no, no, no, we would never do that again.’ There is zero attempts at reassuring people that what you are suggesting is not true.”

Cheney said, “Look, in some ways, I think it’s actually even worse than that, Jake. I think that we’re in a situation where the people that you mentioned seem to view this as some sort of a partisan political game. And as every American who watched saw this morning, this is really deadly serious. This is a situation where the institution’s held, but it was a close-run thing. And as the chairman said, we didn’t have a peaceful transfer of power. We had an insurrection. We had an assault on the Capitol. Today you had members of Congress, Republican members of Congress actually protesting in front of the Justice Department on behalf of the people who were here and who had been arrested because they participated in the riot and in the insurrection. That’s a stunning and indefensible turn of events.”

Tapper said, “That was going on, on one end of Washington. On the other end on Capitol Hill, the strategy from House Republican leaders McCarthy, Scalise, Stefanik was to counter the committee hearing with their press conference where their basic message was Speaker Pelosi is to blame.”

After playing a video from the press conference, Tapper asked, “What’s your reaction when you hear them try to blame Pelosi for an insurrection incited and inspired and even directed in some ways by Donald Trump?”

Cheney said, “If I were saying the things that you just played, I’d be deeply ashamed of myself. What happened is absolutely clear. We had, as we heard this morning, just intolerable cruelty, a mob that was assembled by President Trump, was provoked by him. He lit the flame for what happened. We’ve seen that not just in the speech on the ellipse but throughout. What this committee needs to understand is exactly what the details were of the planning and the financing. But for anybody to be suggesting that somehow he wasn’t responsible, I think it’s shameful.”

She added, “I think Leader McCarthy is continuing to demonstrate that he views this as some sort of a political game. It’s not a game, and it’s deadly serious.”

Cheney concluded, “If we accept what happened on January 6th, if we accept what people, my colleagues are saying that we should somehow look at this as a bunch of tourists, they are trying to whitewash it, ignore it. If we go down that path, then we really are abandoning the rule of law, and we are abandoning what is one of the most fundamental elements of our republic, which is the peaceful transfer of power. I know that there are millions of people around this country who won’t let that happen, who will stand up and do what’s right and reaffirm our commitment to our constitution.”

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Pam Key