Cheney has repeatedly pushed back on Trump’s baseless assertions that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election. She was one of only 10 Republicans to vote to impeach the former president for “incitement of insurrection” after the deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6.
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” Cheney tweeted on Monday. “Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”
Cheney’s remarks were in response to Trump, who said in a written statement on Monday, “The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!”
Cheney’s outspoken criticism of Trump has led to some House Republicans to accuse her of dividing the conference and distracting from the party’s goals. Some have recently warned that Cheney could face a vote to oust her from her spot in the House Republican in leadership, although Cheney survived a similar test earlier this year.
In January, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in a deluded effort to overturn the 2020 election as Congress certified the vote. Cheney blamed the riot — and the death of five people — directly on Trump, saying he “summoned,” “assembled” and “lit the flame of this attack.”
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said.
Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump has sparked a backlash among the House Republican conference and in Wyoming, which Trump won in 2020 with nearly 70% of the vote, the most of any state in the country. Cheney has also faced criticism after leaning in to greet President Joe Biden last week, as he made his way down the aisle for his speech to a joint session of Congress.
But Cheney appears to be uninterested in backing away from her views, despite the intraparty pressure in Washington and primary challengers lining up to take her on in Wyoming. Cheney has recently opened the door to running for president in 2024 and blasted colleagues in the Senate who supported efforts to challenge the election results on January 6.
In February, Cheney overwhelmingly kept her leadership position in a secret ballot vote 145-61 — but some Republicans have grown increasingly irritated that she continues to publicly attack Trump.
Last week, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy was asked if Cheney was still a good fit for leadership. He declined to endorse her, instead saying Cheney’s future would be determined by the conference. Some House Republicans who have supported Cheney staying in her leadership post have told CNN that the conference could vote again to oust her.