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Rep. :Liz Cheney

The division within Republican leadership on how to deal with Donald Trump publicly played out on Wednesday in an awkward moment between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).

At the end of a press briefing given by House Republican leadership, reporters asked if Trump should address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

"Yes, he should," McCarthy replied.

Cheney was asked to respond to the question.

She noted that the decision is ultimately up to CPAC, then added, "Especially following Jan. 6, I don't believe he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country."

There was a noticeable pause, then McCarthy said, "on that high note, thank you very much," and ended the press conference.

Cheney has been an outspoken critic of Trump after he incited the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted with the majority to impeach him.

McCarthy has been an ally of Trump and voted against impeachment.

After the testy exchange at the press conference, another staunch supporter of Trump, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chimed in and tweeted, "President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party."

From a February 24 press conference:

REPORTER: You, on the leadership, especially Congresswoman Cheney, do you believe President Trump should be speaking – or, former President Trump – should be speaking at CPAC this weekend?
KEVIN McCARTHY: Yes, he should.
REPORTER: Congresswoman Cheney?
LIZ CHENEY: That's up to CPAC, I've been clear in my views about President Trump and the extent to which – especially following Jan. 6, I don't believe he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.
McCARTHY: On that high note, thank you very much.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.