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Tag: cheney ouster

Stefanik’s First Leadership Speech ‘Wildly Inaccurate’ On Jobs

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a Trump acolyte, was just elected to replace booted House Republican Caucus Chair Liz Cheney. In her first speech minutes after securing her new leadership position Stefanik delivered a "wildly inaccurate" claim, CNN reported.

"We see the worst jobs report in over 20 years," Stefanik said.

"I just want to note something also that was just wildly inaccurate," CNN's Poppy Harlow said on-air after the speech. Stefanik was "talking about the economy, blasting this economy, saying we just got 'the worst jobs report in 20 years.' That is not true, not even close to true, we'll keep monitoring this we'll be right back."

One year ago America, under Stefanik's top supporter, President Donald Trump, America did see "the worst jobs report in U.S. history."

Listen to Stefanik's speech:

Cheney: McCarthy Should Testify About Jan. 6, Under Subpoena If Necessary

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

One thing we know about Cheneys is that they get revenge. If House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy somehow forgot that, he is perhaps remembering about now, with the release of a clip of a new ABC News interview with Rep. Liz Cheney.

Cheney was just stripped of her leadership role in the House Republican conference for the unpardonable sin of telling the truth about Donald Trump, Jan. 6, and the 2020 elections, and calling on the Republican Party to respect election results going forward. She was replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, who is less conservative but more loyal to Trump, while McCarthy distinguished himself for his lack of leadership, ditching Cheney and clinging to Trump just months after he said Trump did bear responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Now, Congress is moving to create a bipartisan January 6 commission, and Cheney absolutely thinks McCarthy is going to need to testify—perhaps under subpoena. Check out her spectacular deadpan here as she twists the knife:

Jon Karl: Now the speaker, along with at least one Republican—key Republican—announced an agreement on a commission to look into what happened on January 6. Should Kevin McCarthy be willing to speak—testify before that commission? After all, he is one of the few people that we know of that was actually talking to Donald Trump while the attack was taking place.
Cheney: He absolutely should, and I wouldn't be surprised if he were subpoenaed. I think that he very clearly, and said publicly, that he's got information about the president's state of mind that day. The elements of that commission are exactly as they should be. I'm very glad they rejected Leader McCarthy's suggestions that somehow we should dilute the commission. It's really important that it be focused just on January 6 and the events leading up to it.
Karl: So you would welcome a subpoena for Kevin McCarthy to testify to that committee?
Cheney: I would anticipate that, you know—I would hope he doesn't require a subpoena, but I wouldn't be surprised if he were subpoenaed.

Defiant Cheney ‘Will Do Everything I Can’ To Stop Trump In 2024

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) spoke to reporters briefly after her House Republican colleagues in a secret closed-door voice-only vote that was not recorded ousted her from her position as Conference Chairwoman.

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office," she said, referring to Donald Trump. "We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke."

Cheney was expelled for publicly stating Trump lost in a free and fair election.

"We must go forward based on truth," she said. "We cannot both embrace the Big Lie and embrace the Constitution."

Watch:

[twitter_embed https://twitter.com/RiegerReport/statuses/1392472669946273797 iframe_id="twitter-embed-1392472669946273797" created_ts=1620826330 name="JM Rieger" embed_mobile_width=375 text="LIZ CHENEY: \u201cI will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office\u2026I think [the vote today] is an indication of where the Republican Party is\u2026we cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president\"pic.twitter.com/KQIxgYry85" padding_desktop=108 embed_desktop_height=598 embed_desktop_width=550 padding_mobile=146 embed_mobile_height=548 id="1392472669946273797" expand=1 screen_name="RiegerReport"]

Liz Cheney Won’t Be Exiled To Political Wilderness

Liz Cheney's ouster from the House Republican leadership has prompted many observers to say that the Wyoming representative is headed to the "political wilderness." This assumes that the Republican Party is itself a civilization and not some decaying political entity about to be buried under the lava of its craziness.

The Donald Trump personality cult may have gotten its way for now, but Cheney's story is just beginning. The few sane Republicans left, Cheney among them, are now vowing a fight to remove the Trumpian scourge from their party — while others talk of abandoning the ship they see as too far gone and forming a third party.

One of the party's most serious conservatives, Cheney remains totally unrepentant about condemning former President Donald Trump's "big lie" that the election was stolen. She is said to have big plans to confront Trump head-on and march on the media to drive home her message. And, yes, she is running for reelection and willing to face the possibility of losing the Republican nomination to a Trumpian clone. That would be another big story starring her.

Trump's own acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, just said that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. That sort of truth-telling finds no resonance in the cultish depths, a place so cracked that Arizona Republicans have conspiracy theorists examining last year's ballots for traces of bamboo. That would be evidence, they say, that fake votes from Asia invaded Arizona on Election Day, thus tainting the final count. Good lord.

As the never-Trump conservative Tom Nichols lamented on The Bulwark Podcast, many of the Republicans endorsing Trump's fraudulent claims that he won the election are not stupid. As an example, Nichols said, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum "was perfectly capable of mimicking normal human behavior" before disgracing himself as an unprincipled promoter of Trump's lunacy.

"But," Nichols added, these Republicans are now "like addicts ... in a co-dependent relationship with other addicts where they need to just keep giving each other bigger and bigger hits of crazy." They're on a hamster wheel.

A group of over 100 Republicans have joined to demand that the party take Trump off its altar and threaten to form a third party if it doesn't. These prominent Republican former officials include governors, members of Congress, ambassadors, and state party chairmen.

Cheney echoed their call for a patriotic defense of the democracy. "Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar," she said in a fiery address on the House floor. "I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy."

Republican Barbara Comstock, former congresswoman from Virginia, defended Cheney thusly: "I think Liz understands it's not worth selling your soul for No. 3 in the minority. She's just not going to do that."

Trump says that "Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being" and "has no personality." The Trump base swimming in the muck of post-truth nihilism may nod in a servile manner, but then there's most of the country.

Cheney is doing more than not selling her soul. Republicans may expel her from the position of House Republican conference chair, but in terms of national importance, she's going nowhere but up.

Liz Cheney is not headed for the political wilderness. She is destined for the history books. Her politics are not mine, but she's on the road to becoming a towering American political figure. One could say she's already arrived.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

McCarthy: Nobody Is ‘Questioning The Legitimacy’ Of The 2020 Election

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday that no one is "questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election," even as multiple members of his own party, including Donald Trump, continue to do exactly that.

"I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election," McCarthy said at a news conference outside the White House, where he met with President Joe Biden on Wednesday. "That's all over with. We are sitting here with the president today."

McCarthy made the comment just hours after Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her House leadership role for her outspoken criticism of Donald Trump and his lies of a stolen election.

Cheney accused members of her own party of going down an authoritarian path by not calling out voter fraud lies, saying in a Tuesday night speech that Republicans need to "speak the truth. Our election was not stolen. And America has not failed."

House Republicans are likely to replace Cheney with is Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who is still calling Trump "the president."

On January 6, the day of the Capitol insurrection, Stefanik lied about voter fraud, falsely claiming in an "open letter" to her constituents that "more than 140,000 votes came from underage, deceased, and otherwise unauthorized voters — in Fulton County alone."

It's a lie Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said was outrageous.

"The suggestion that one-fourth of all ballots cast in Fulton County in November were illegal is ludicrous," Raffensperger told CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale.

What's more, McCarthy's claim that no one is questioning the outcome of the race came two days after Trump himself issued yet another lie-filled post on his new blog claiming there was widespread fraud in the election and that he, not Biden, won.

McCarthy himself has worked to raise doubts about the election outcome.

On November 6, one day before the race was called for Biden, McCarthy said in a Fox News appearance that "President Trump won this election, so everyone who's listening, do not be quiet. We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes."

McCarthy also backed a since-failed lawsuit from the Texas Attorney General that sought to invalidate the votes in states Biden won. And he later was one of the 147 members of Congress to vote to block certification of Joe Biden's win — based off lies of fraud and irregularities in the election.

Ultimately, the consistent lies from Trump and the GOP about a stolen election have led Republican voters to believe Biden's win was illegitimate.

An Economist/YouGov poll from the end of April found 74 percent of Republican voters don't believe Biden legitimately won the election.

It's something Cheney said in her Tuesday speech she is afraid of.

"I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former President's crusade to undermine our democracy," Cheney said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

The Real Steal Is Coming — In 2024

War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength. — George Orwell, "1984"

Welcome to the funhouse world the Republican Party is building. Up is down. Black is white. Lies are truth.

The great cause that Republicans are uniting around is "election integrity." That's rich. The reality is that somebody did attempt to steal the 2020 election — Donald Trump. During the days and weeks following his loss, he brayed endlessly that the outcome was fraudulent, laying the groundwork for an attempt to overturn the voters' will.

From the White House, he made multiple calls to local election officials demanding that they find votes for him. He dialed up members of local canvassing boards, encouraging them to decertify results.

At a time when Trump's toadies were calling for legislatures to ignore the popular vote and submit alternate slates of electoral college votes, he engaged in flagrant election interference by inviting seven Michigan state legislators, including the leaders of the house and senate, to the White House on November 20. What did they discuss? You can surmise from their statement issued after the meeting: "We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and, as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan's electors..."

Trump phoned a Georgia elections investigator who was conducting a signature audit in Cobb County and asked her to find the "dishonesty." If she did, he promised, "you'll be praised. ... You have the most important job in the country right now."

The then-president phoned Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger 18 times. When he finally got through, he wove a tangled theory of voting irregularities that crescendoed to a naked plea to falsify Georgia's vote: "So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes."

Trump entertained ideas such as declaring martial law, seizing the nation's voting machines and letting the military "rerun" the election. He turned loose his Kraken-conspiracy nuts and his pillow man to spread lies about Dominion Voting Systems, Black-run cities like Philadelphia and Chinese bamboo ballots.

The Trump campaign and its allies filed more than 60 lawsuits challenging election procedures and lost all but one. Pennsylvania was found to have erred in extending the period to fix errors on mail-in ballots. The case was a matter of three days and a small number of votes that would not have changed Pennsylvania's outcome.

And then came the ultimate attack on election integrity — the violent attack on the Capitol and on members of Congress and the vice president as they were fulfilling their constitutional duties.

Leaving no doubt about his intentions for the riot, Trump told a crowd in February that the only thing that prevented the violent mob from successfully hijacking the official tally of the Electoral College votes was the "cowardice" of Mike Pence.

Today, we stand on the precipice of the House Republican conference ratifying this attempt to subvert American democracy. They are poised to punish Liz Cheney for saying this simple truth: "The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system." In her place, they will elevate Iago in heels, Elise Stefanik, whose claim to leadership consists entirely of her operatic Trump followership.

Let's be clear: The substitution of Stefanik for Cheney is a tocsin, signaling that the Republican Party will no longer be bound by law or custom. In 2020, many Republican officeholders, including the otherwise invertebrate Pence, held the line. They did not submit false slates of electors. They did not decertify votes. They did not "find" phantom fraud. But the party has been schooled since then. It has learned that the base — which is deluded by the likes of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin — believes the lies and demands that Republicans fight. As my colleague Amanda Carpenter put it, the 2024 mantra is going to be "Steal It Back."

If Cheney must be axed because she will not lie, then what will happen if Republicans take control of Congress in 2022 and are called upon to certify the Electoral College in 2024? How many Raffenspergers will there be? How many will insist, as Pence did, that they must do what the Constitution demands? How many will preserve any semblance of the rule of law and the primacy of truth?

With this sabotage of Cheney, House Republicans are figuratively joining the January 6 mob.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her most recent book is "Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense." To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

McCarthy Skirted Ethics Rules To Rent Pollster’s Luxury Pad

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A watchdog group has filed an ethics complaint against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, accusing him of lying about a luxury apartment he rented from a top Republican pollster. This comes as he works to remove the only woman on his leadership team for telling the truth about Donald Trump.

The Campaign for Accountability asked the Office of Congressional Ethics on Friday to investigate whether the California Republican broke House rules by renting a room in Frank Luntz's Washington, D.C., condominium at below-market rates — which could have been an illegal and unreported gift.

"House ethics rules are clear and Representative McCarthy is no neophyte. As leader of the House Republicans, he should be setting an example for his caucus, not trying to skirt the rules," Michelle Kuppersmith, the group's executive director, said in a press release. "If he violated the gift rule, he must be held accountable."

McCarthy's office did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

But McCarthy told Fox News last week that he had "rented a room from Frank for a couple of months" — an agreement that likely violated the property's bylaws, according to the Washington Post.

"Don't worry, I'm back to — going back to where I normally am, on my couch in my office. But, yes, we pay fair market rate," he claimed.

Last Tuesday, a McCarthy spokesperson told a right-wing outlet: "McCarthy rented a room of approximately 400 square feet, and under House Ethics guidelines, calculated the fair market amount at $1,500/month by comparing what other members of Congress were also paying to live in the building and additional comparables for the space in the building and neighborhood."

But Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler noted Tuesday that similar spaces in Luntz's building run between $1,675 and $2,300 a month and homeowners' association fees run nearly $5,000 a month, per unit — covering the costs of a roof-top pool, round the clock concierge, and other amenities. That apparent gap would constitute a gift from Luntz to McCarthy.

These ethics allegations come as McCarthy is leading the charge to removeHouse Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney from her post as the number-three House GOP official. Her crimes: She admitted that Trump lost the 2020 election and then worked to hold him accountable for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

McCarthy, who once also acknowledged Trump's culpability for the attacks but has since reverted to being a staunch defender of the twice-impeached one-termer, is mad that Cheney has not followed his lead.

"Having heard from so many of you in recent days, it's clear that we need to make a change. As such, you should anticipate a vote on recalling the Conference Chair this Wednesday," he told his caucus on Monday.

In the past, McCarthy has occasionally tried to present himself as a defender of congressional ethics.

In 2016, he called the House Ethics Committee chair position an "important role for this institution & our country."

Citing optics, he framed himself as an opponent of an effort to gut the outside Office of Congressional Ethics in 2017.

In February 2019, he said in a press release that "Members on the Ethics Committee are charged with guarding the institution of the House of Representatives."

He has also called out Democratic colleagues who he believed crossed ethical lines, often trying to boot them from powerful positions.

Though he had not been accused of any wrongdoing, McCarthy unsuccessfully tried to remove Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from his seat of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in March, vaguely citing classified information about Swalwell's ties to an alleged Chinese spy.

Since the 2019 impeachment inquiry, he also has repeatedly demanded Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) lose his chairmanship of the intelligence panel and called for him to be censured for accurately describing Trump's call with the Ukrainian president.

McCarthy has, thus far, not stepped aside from his position.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

McCarthy Facing GOP Backlash Over Cheney Ouster

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Republicans are privately grumbling about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying his effort to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from the GOP top brass raises questions about his leadership and his ability to serve as speaker if Republicans regain control of the House, Politico reported.

According to Politico's report, House Republicans — some of them considered allies of McCarthy's — are frustrated that McCarthy has taken more action to punish Cheney for criticizing Donald Trump while letting the behavior of Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) slide.

Gaetz is under federal investigation for alleged child sex trafficking, while Greene has made offensive comments and rankled her fellow Republicans by interfering with House business.

One unnamed GOP lawmaker told Politico, referring to McCarthy's possible speaker vote:

Kevin McCarthy has pissed off enough members of his own conference that he's going to have to go back to his former days as a whip to try to figure out where his votes are. I'd be worried if I was him. … You have people like me — who are here to do the right thing for all the right reasons and have an expectation of leadership — that are, shall we say, disgusted with the internal squabbling that results from having weak leadership. And it is weak leadership. Straight up.

Other GOP lawmakers have been more vocal in their frustration with McCarthy.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who has stood up for Cheney and similarly criticized Trump for his election lies and incitement of insurrection, said McCarthy has been inconsistent with his own comments toward Trump.

At a virtual event hosted by the National Press Foundation, Kinzinger pointed out that McCarthy also blamed Trump for the January 6 riot at the Capitol before later absolving Trump and embracing the ex-commander-in-chief.

"She is being run out for one thing: her consistency," Kinzinger said at the event, according to CNN. "She said the exact same thing that Kevin McCarthy said on January 6, which is Donald Trump is responsible" for the riot.

Indeed, on January 13, the day the House impeached Trump for a second time for inciting the Capitol insurrection, McCarthy said Trump needs to "accept his share of responsibility" for the riot.

"The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters," McCarthy said in a speech on the House floor, even though he voted against impeaching Trump. "He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump."

Kinzinger went on to accuse McCarthy of lying in an eye-popping remark.

"You cannot unite with lies, if somebody is going to use lies to gain power and say, 'let's have unity,' you can't do it," Kinzinger said, an apparent reference to McCarthy's comments that Cheney cannot be in leadership because her comments don't unify the House conference. "'We need to remove Liz Cheney because she makes me have to answer questions that I know are false.' That's what they're saying."

Ultimately, McCarthy announced on Monday that Republicans will vote on Wednesday on whether to remove Cheney from her leadership role. Multiple reports say Cheney is almost assured to lose her leadership post.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.