A day after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was booted from Republican leadership for pushing back against the “Big Lie,” she appeared on Fox News and explicitly said the network had an “obligation” to tell its viewers that the “election wasn’t stolen.”
Following months of Cheney’s criticism of former President Donald Trump’s repeated lies about the 2020 election, House Republicans voted on Wednesday to remove her as conference chair. The Wyoming congresswoman has remained defiant, however, driving home the message that the Republican Party needs to be “based on truth” and should pull itself away from the embrace of Trump, who will “drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy.”
During her Thursday evening appearance on Fox News’ Special Report, Cheney took the opportunity not only to question her party’s relationship with the truth but also to demand that Fox News do its part to clearly inform its viewers that Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president.
Grilling Cheney from the start, anchor Bret Baier asked the conservative lawmaker if she “could agree” with her Republican colleagues that she would have a hard time fulfilling her leadership duties because of her “eagerness to challenge” Trump on his election claims.
“I think it’s very important for us to be a party based on truth. I think it’s important for us to understand the threat that the claims the former president is making, the threat is ongoing,” she replied. “I think we know that the kind of language we have heard from him has caused violence in the past. And there is clearly an attempt to unravel the democracy, if you will, by focusing on challenging the legitimacy of the election.”
Asked whether it was “correct” to say she’s “too focused on the election” to advance the GOP’s goal of blocking the Biden agenda, Cheney said “that’s actually wrong,” as she opposes the current administration’s policies.
“The issue is, are we going to be a party that sits by silently while the former president continues to perpetuate lies about the election?” Cheney added. “It is the case that there are too many people in the leadership of the Republican Party today who have been willing not only to sit by silently but to help enable that.”
As Baier continued to press Cheney on her anti-Trump stance and whether that will hamstring her future in her home state and the GOP, the congresswoman reiterated that the party—and Fox News—shouldn’t be enabling lies.
“We all have an obligation. And I would say Fox News—especially, especially Fox News—has a particular obligation to make sure people know the election wasn’t stolen,” she declared.
“We’ve said that numerous times,” Baier shot back.
“Bret, I’m going to answer your question, Fox News needs to make sure the American people—” Cheney began before Baier cut her off.
“No, but you’re mentioning Fox News, you need to know that this show has said that numerous times,” the anchor insisted.
“Bret, you’re doing the interview, I’m answering the questions,” Cheney fired back. “We need to make sure that the American people recognize and understand that the election wasn’t stolen. That we shouldn’t perpetuate the ‘Big Lie.’ And that there’s real danger.”
Moments later, after Baier noted that former President George W. Bush’s nephew had criticized her for calling out Trump’s lies, Cheney once again said it was imperative for Fox to push back on bogus election fraud claims.
“Everyone watching this show, everybody who works at Fox, everybody who is elected to office, all of us have to love our country more,” she said. “And that means that there are moments when you have to put politics aside, when you have to say, ‘I will not be part of unraveling the democracy.’ That is a fundamentally important thing.”
While Baier has personally acknowledged that Biden is the duly elected president and has called out Trump’s election lies, many at Fox News helped peddle Trump’s stolen election narrative for months after the election. Voting software firms Dominion and Smartmatic have filed billion-dollar defamation lawsuits against Fox News and several Fox personalities for pushing baseless claims the companies rigged the election. (Fox has filed a motion to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit, saying it “strikes at the heart of the First Amendment.”)
Furthermore, as the network’s top opinion stars continue to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election, recent polls have found that 86 percent of Republicans who trust Fox News as a news source falsely believe the election was stolen.