House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) is siding with former President Donald Trump as House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) continues to attack Trump over the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In a Friday interview with Axios, Scalise was asked about Cheney’s sharp criticism of Trump, which has drawn rebukes from Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“Trump is still a very active part of our party,” Scalise replied. “This idea that you just disregard President Trump is not where we are, and frankly, he has a lot to offer still.”
Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump in February, has repeatedly said that the former president should have no role in shaping the future of the Republican Party and affirmed she would not support him for president in 2024. Cheney says she is keeping options open for her own presidential campaign.
“I’m not ruling anything in or out — I’ve been here a long time,” Cheney said in an interview this week with The New York Post when asked about a possible run.
“I think we have a huge number of interesting candidates, but I think that we’re going to be in a good position to be able to take the White House,” she continued. “I do think that some of our candidates who led the charge, particularly the senators who led the unconstitutional charge, not to certify the election, you know, in my view that’s disqualifying.”
“I think that adherence to the Constitution, adherence to your oath has got to be at the top of the list. So, I think, you know that certainly will be a factor that I’m looking at and I think a number of voters will be looking at as they decide about ’24,” she added.
Cheney’s remarks coincided with the House GOP’s policy retreat in Orlando, Florida, and were viewed as a distraction by McCarthy and other conservative lawmakers.
McCarthy, when asked about Cheney, would not say whether or not he believes she is a “good fit” for the House GOP leadership team.
“I think from a perspective if you’re sitting here at a retreat that’s focused on policy, focused on the future of making America’s next century, and you’re talking about something else, you’re not being productive,” he stated.
On Tuesday, Trump mused that Cheney is weighing a run for president because her congressional re-election campaign is in trouble.
“Liz Cheney is polling sooo low in Wyoming, and has sooo little support, even from the Wyoming Republican Party, that she is looking for a way out of her Congressional race. Based on all polling, there is no way she can win,” Trump said in a statement. “She’ll either be yet another lobbyist or maybe embarrass her family by running for President, in order to save face. This warmongering fool wants to stay in the Middle East and Afghanistan for another 19 years, but doesn’t consider the big picture—Russia and China!”