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Cheney: Trump still posing danger questioning legitimacy of election

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks after House Republicans

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks after House Republicans voted her out as chair of the House Republican Conference on May 12, 2021, Credit: The Washington Post/Jabin Botsford

WASHINGTON — Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — recently ousted by House Republicans from her leadership post for speaking out against former President Donald Trump — said Sunday he continued to pose "a real danger" by questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Cheney, making the rounds of the Sunday political talk show circuit, said she believed there is "no question" that another attack akin to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol could occur if the former president continued to spread false claims about his loss to President Joe Biden.

"We have to recognize how quickly things can unravel," Cheney said during an appearance on ABC’s "This Week." "We have to recognize what it means for the nation to have a former president who has not conceded and who continues to suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the people."

Trump last week backed Rep. Elise Stefanik, an upstate New York Republican, to succeed Cheney. Stefanik has been a vocal supporter of the former president and served on his first impeachment defense team.

Only a handful of Republicans have publicly defended Cheney who urged more Republicans to speak out against Trump’s questioning of the election.

"To cause that kind of questioning about our process, frankly, it's the same kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party says about democracy: that it's a failed system, that America is a failed nation. I won't be part of that," Cheney said. "I think it's very important for Republicans who won't be part of that to stand up and speak out."

Cheney’s removal, pushed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R- Calif.), has publicly surfaced the tensions between Trump loyalists and moderate Republicans over the future direction of the party.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) asked on NBC’s "Meet the Press" if he believed Trump served as the party’s "legitimate leader" did not answer one way or another, only saying he would not "allow this drama to engulf us."

"I'm going to agree where I agree. I'm going to disagree where I disagree," said Crenshaw.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a longtime Trump critic, criticized McCarthy and other GOP leaders for praising Trump as the party’s current leader, while encouraging Americans to move past the divisiveness of the 2020 election.

"Trump set the table. He's the one that continually brings up a stolen election narrative," Kinzinger said on "Meet the Press." "You cannot on the one hand say that Donald Trump is a leader or the leader of the Republican Party — which I believe he is the leader of the Republican Party right now because Kevin McCarthy gave him his leadership card. You can't say he's the leader and then say we have to move on. I would love to move on."

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