House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on Tuesday that House Republicans have expressed concerns with Rep. Liz Cheney’s role in GOP leadership, suggesting the Wyoming lawmaker’s days are numbered as the party’s third-ranking member.
Having already survived one challenge to her leadership post in February, Cheney has once again found herself increasingly alienated and isolated within the GOP caucus over her criticism of former President Donald Trump. She was one of just ten House Republicans to vote to impeach the former president over his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
In recent days, the calls for Cheney to be removed as House Republican Conference Chair have grown louder as she has stood up to Trump’s continued lies about his election loss. Besides calling out Trump’s “big lie” on Twitter, she also said at a private GOP retreat that the party “can’t embrace the notion the election is stolen” as it is “poison in the bloodstream of our democracy.”
During an appearance on Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning, McCarthy was asked by co-host Steve Doocy about House Republicans vowing to get rid of Cheney over her impeachment vote. While insisting there was “no concern” over that, McCarthy still seemed to indicate that Cheney may be toast.
“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message,” McCarthy declared. “We all need to be working as one, if we’re able to win the majority.”
Adding that the message going forward is that “majorities are not given, they are earned,” the Republican leader said the members aren’t “concerned” about her impeachment vote but instead are worried about “what's our best step forward that we could all work together instead of attacking one another.”
In response to McCarthy’s comments on Fox, Cheney's comms team revealed that the congresswoman wasn’t backing down from her position.
“This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6,” Cheney communications director Jeremy Adler said. “Liz will not do that. That is the issue.”
Axios reported later on Tuesday that McCarthy was caught on a hot mic prior to his Fox interview telling Doocy that Cheney had “real problems” and he “had it with her.” He also revealed he would personally support an effort to oust her from leadership. (Mediaite would follow up with the audio of the hot mic moment.)
“You know, I've lost confidence,” McCarthy said. “Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.”
Notably, McCarthy went on Trump’s favorite morning program to deliver this unsubtle message to Cheney that fealty to the former president and embracing his false election claims is the current path forward for the Republican Party.
Prior to McCarthy’s appearance on Fox & Friends, Fox News had completely ignored the growing tensions between Cheney and pro-Trump Republicans and her back-and-forth with the ex-president. As first noted by Mediaite, the network did not mention her name once over the previous five days before McCarthy’s interview.