Liz Cheney is sole Republican voice calling Trump out for ‘racist’ attack on Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao

“Nobody in my party will say that’s unacceptable,” says the January 6 committee vice chair

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 04 October 2022 21:59 BST
Related video: Liz Cheney Says She May Leave the GOP if Trump Is the Nominee

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Louise Thomas

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Lize Cheney tore into former President Donald Trump for his recent comments about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, former Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

The outgoing Wyoming Representative slammed Mr Trump’s comments as an “absolutely despicable, racist attack” and said that Mr Trump’s incendiary remarks could prompt more violence.

The vice chairwoman of the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot on January made the remarks when she was attending an event at Syracuse University on Monday.

“When you see former President Trump just in the last 24 hours suggesting in a pretty thinly veiled way, using words that could well cause violence against the Republican leader of the Senate, saying he has a death wish and then, you know, launching an absolutely despicable, racist attack against Secretary Chao, Leader McConnell’s wife, and then you watch the fact that nobody in my party will say that’s unacceptable,” she said, according to The Hill.

“And everybody ought to be asked whether or not that’s acceptable, and everybody ought to be able to say no, that is not acceptable. They ought to be required to say that,” Ms Cheney added.

Ms Chao was the Labor Secretary in the administration of President George W Bush before joining the Trump administration. She resigned after the insurrection on January 6.

Mr Trump went after Mr McConnell on Friday in a post on his platform Truth Social.

“Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him? In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH,” Mr Trump said.

“Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” the former president added.

Mr Trump’s statement came after Congress voted through a continuing resolution to fund the US government until 16 December, avoiding a shutdown. The bill was passed with support from both parties in both chambers, including the support of Mr McConnell, The Hill noted. But House GOP leadership told their members to vote against the bill.

Ms Cheney is one of few Republicans willing to criticise Mr Trump, and she lost the GOP primary for her seat earlier this year against Harriet Hageman, who was endorsed by Mr Trump.

Ms Cheney was ousted from House GOP leadership last year after she refused to stop pushing back against Mr Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen.

The chairman of the January 6 committee and the House Homeland Security Committee, Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, said in a statement that “former President Trump’s inflammatory and racist attacks directed at Senator McConnell aren’t helpful to the nation or our democracy. Worse yet, they could incite political violence, and the former President knows full well that extremists often view his words as marching orders”.

The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal wrote that “we live in a polarized political age when rabid partisans don’t need provocation to resort to violence. This makes Donald Trump’s latest verbal assault against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell all the more reckless”.

“The ‘death wish’ rhetoric is ugly even by Mr Trump’s standards and deserves to be condemned,” the board added.

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