After four years of fealty, some prominent Republicans finally began to denounce former President Donald Trump after his lies about the validity of the 2020 election prompted a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the United States Capitol, resulting in the deaths of at least five people.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called Trump's behavior leading up to the riots a "disgraceful dereliction of duty." Trump's former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the former President "let us down." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Trump bore responsibility for the riots.
But after the dust settled, all of these Republican lawmakers have dismissed the significance of the failed insurrection this past January, and said they'd welcome and support a Trump run in 2024.
One of the few House Republicans steadfast in opposition to Trump is Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY).
Though she's voted in line with Trump's agenda the vast majority of the time, and frequently defended his rhetoric in the years leading up to the riots, the Capitol siege was the last straw for Cheney.
As the House prepared a vote to impeach Trump for a historic second time earlier this year, Cheney said she would vote to impeach Trump.
Her statement at the time read:
"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."
Cheney faced immediate consequences. She was censured by her state's Republican party. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL)—now embroiled in his own scandal—traveled to Cheney's district to slam her before her constituents. Cheney's position as the Republican Conference Leader was jeopardized.
Now, months later, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto asked Cheney if she'd support a Trump ticket in 2024, as virtually every Republican who spoke out against him now says they would.
Hey look everyone, it’s not that hard. https://t.co/dCu1MBhtXy— Tim Hogan (@Tim Hogan) 1618436699.0
Cheney tersely responded:
"I would not."
Cavuto's stunned silence caught the attention of Twitter.
Neil Cavuto looked like he was having a mini stroke after her answer cos he was expecting a yes 😂 https://t.co/GkjUhY2J2Y— Dorian Wilde (@Dorian Wilde) 1618493787.0
Neil Cavuto was at a loss of words there. https://t.co/bE88CH5UJw— VonSwain (@VonSwain) 1618441008.0
Cavuto is UTTERLY GOOPED. https://t.co/pkKJ5QAQSe— Alex Mohajer (@Alex Mohajer) 1618435309.0
Trump remains the face of the Republican party and its unquestionable frontrunner for the 2024 nomination, but Republicans are still facing pressure to follow Cheney's lead and denounce him for inciting an insurrection.
Hey @GOP, you want to be a pro-American party not run by a bunch of autocratic cowards, this is what it takes.… https://t.co/n7UKQDyg95— stuart stevens (@stuart stevens) 1618436892.0
This is moral leadership! Good for Liz Cheney! https://t.co/pOsKKm8uIl— Debby (@Debby) 1618493636.0
There goes Liz Cheney making me agree with her again. Wish there were more Republicans like her. https://t.co/nyuRXbA6wV— Grant Stern is half-vaccinated (@Grant Stern is half-vaccinated) 1618449347.0
More of THIS from sane Republicans!☺ https://t.co/92K3FW0FcG— YpsiGal🇺🇸 (@YpsiGal🇺🇸) 1618439162.0
I don't agree with her on, well, anything at all, but I respect and appreciate one of the few Republicans that's wi… https://t.co/Gx6JBJfW5c— Carolyn Rogers (@Carolyn Rogers) 1618445470.0
Love this. Straight talk in 3 words. Hopefully the rest of the @GOP is taking notes. #ErnestHemmingway (whose… https://t.co/KuJyHIj30l— Chip Scutari (@Chip Scutari) 1618456016.0
As of now, it's unclear whether Trump will mount a campaign in 2024 or settle for being the most sought-after endorsement in the Republican primaries.