Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney called out Fox News in an on-air interview with the cable news channel in which she argued that they have a responsibility to say that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen.
Ms Cheney was ousted from her position as House Republican Conference Chair on 12 May after her relentless criticism of former President Donald Trump and his lies about the 2020 election being stolen from him.
Speaking to Fox News host Bret Baier in a tense exchange on Thursday night, Ms Cheney said: “We all have an obligation, and I would say Fox News especially ... has a particular obligation to make sure people know the election wasn’t stolen.”
After being interrupted by Mr Baier who argued that his programme had stated that the election wasn’t fraudulent several times, Ms Cheney added: “We need to make sure that the American people recognise and understand that the election wasn’t stolen, that we shouldn’t perpetuate the big lie and that there’s real danger.”
Fox News is overwhelmingly sympathetic and indulging of Mr Trump. The morning show Fox & Friends is one of the former president’s favourite programmes and he has a close relationship with primetime anchor Sean Hannity.
In the Thursday night edition of Mr Baier’s Special Report, Ms Cheney yet again blasted Mr Trump and his “enablers” in the Republican Party, arguing that Mr Trump’s actions are “dangerous” because he’s “perpetuating lies” as he continues to say that the 2020 election was stolen from him without any evidence to back up his startling claims.
Mr Baier asked Ms Cheney if she would have been able to stay in her job as the top messenger in the House Republican Conference “considering what you were saying and doing?” Only 10 House Republicans voted to impeach Mr Trump after the Capitol riot on 6 January and most of the caucus remain loyal to him.
“I think the question is what kind of a party are we going to be going forward, Bret,” Ms Cheney replied. “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 added.
“There is clearly an attempt to unravel the democracy, if you will, by focusing on challenging the legitimacy of the election … abandoning the rule of law,” Ms Cheney told the Fox News host. “I think for us as Republicans, we have a huge set of issues we have got to be able to defeat the Democrats over.”
“We have to get people to vote for us. And we can’t do that if we are a party that’s based on a foundation of lies. I think what the former president is doing is dangerous,” she added.
Pushing back, Mr Baier noted that other Republicans have criticised Ms Cheney by arguing that her constant reprimands of Mr Trump take away the focus from their goal of taking down the Biden administration.
“We have had a real focus on making sure people understand that the Biden policies are dangerous,” she responded. “If you look at the impact for the people of Wyoming – banning oil and gas leases on public lands is really dangerous and really heartless. We have been very clear about that. What’s happening at the border is very dangerous.”
“The issue isn’t whether or not we stand against the Biden policy, 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,” she added.
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