WASHINGTON — Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
The Wyoming Republican, booted from House Republican leadership this week after clashing with members of her party over Trump’s false claims about election fraud and his actions on the day of the Capitol riot, has been speaking out about the former president and the dangers she says he poses not only to the GOP but to the nation.
“I was never going to support Joe Biden and I do regret the vote,” Cheney said in an ABC News interview to be broadcast on Sunday. “It was a vote based on policy, based on substance and in terms of the kinds of policies he put forward that were good for the country. But I think it’s fair to say that I regret the vote.”
Cheney was ousted from her position as GOP conference chair, the No. 3 position in House Republican leadership, this week. Her colleagues voted Friday to replace her with Elise Stefanik, who represents a district in northern New York. Stefanik, 36, who was first elected in 2014 as a moderate Republican and an acolyte of then-Speaker Paul Ryan, became known during Trump’s first impeachment as his reliable defender from detractors outside the party and within.
Trump, delighted over Cheney’s fall, praised Stefanik before and after the vote Friday, sending out a news release saying the House GOP was now “united.”
“Congratulations to Elise Stefanik for her Big and Overwhelming victory!” Trump said. “The House GOP is united and the Make America Great Again movement is Strong!”
Cheney said she thought it was “dangerous” to elevate Stefanik, who voted against certifying some Electoral College results, to a leadership position. She also called for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to testify before a bipartisan commission set to investigate the events surrounding the Jan. 6. assault on the Capitol by a mob of Trump’s supporters.
Earlier Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office said the House would vote next week on the commission and a $1.9 billion Capitol security package.
Cheney said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if McCarthy were subpoenaed to testify before the panel.
McCarthy said after that attack that Trump “bears responsibility” for it. But he soon was expressing renewed allegiance to the former president and at the end of January visited him at his Mar-a-Lago resort.