GOP leader claims no one 'is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election' just hours after ousting Liz Cheney for refusing to support Trump's election lies

  • GOP leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday claimed that no one is “questioning” the results of the 2020 election.
  • “I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” he told reporters. “That’s all done and over with.”
  • McCarthy’s remark came hours after he and other Republicans ousted Liz Cheney as House GOP Conference chair because she refused to endorse Trump’s election lies.
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday that Republicans aren’t “questioning the legitimacy” of the 2020 election, despite former President Donald Trump’s continued insistence that the election was stolen from him.

McCarthy’s comment came hours after he led House Republicans in a vote to oust Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney as chair of the House GOP Conference because she refused to endorse Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories about the election.

“I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” McCarthy told reporters after a meeting at the White House with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“That’s all over with,” McCarthy added. “We are sitting here with the president today.”

Cheney, however, was ousted from leadership because she’s repeatedly condemned Trump since the January 6 Capitol riot and admonished her GOP colleagues who continue to lie about the 2020 election. 

“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” she said in a speech on the House floor on Tuesday night. “I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”

McCarthy’s claim that Republicans aren’t questioning the legitimacy of Biden’s election is false. So far this month, Trump has released eight statements falsely claiming the election was “rigged,” “stolen,” or corrupted by widespread voter fraud. 

“The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!” Trump wrote in a statement on May 3. On May 11, he said the 2020 election was “rigged and stolen from us.” 

Twelve days into May and Trump has referred to the 2020 election as “our fake Presidential Election,” “the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020,” “the greatest Election Fraud in the history of our Country,” and “the most tainted and corrupt Election in American history.”

Last week, McCarthy told Fox News hosts in a leaked conversation that Cheney had “real problems” because she refused to get on board with Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent and “stolen” from him.

“I’ve had it with her,” McCarthy was heard saying on the hot mic, according to Axios. “You know, I’ve lost confidence … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place,” he added, referring to a motion to remove her as Republican conference chair.

  • Fact check: The 2020 election was the safest and most secure election in US history. Multiple Trump administration officials and nonpartisan election officials have publicly confirmed that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud on a level that would have altered the outcome of the race. The Trump campaign and Republican officials also filed dozens of lawsuits in battleground states and at the Supreme Court, all of which failed.

Still, lawmakers have succeeded in convincing a majority of GOP voters that Trump lost the election because of election rigging or illegal voting, according to recent polling. 

In the days following the Capitol riot, though, McCarthy was on the same page as Cheney. He argued that Trump was to blame for not acting more swiftly to urge his loyalists to end their deadly attack on the Capitol. And he supported Cheney when a minority of GOP members attempted to oust her from leadership in February. Since then, McCarthy has changed his tune on the Capitol riot and begun publicly defending Trump’s response to the attack. 

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