A top source close to Republican leadership in the nation’s capital says that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is producing opposition research for Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to attack House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy over the party’s decision to vote this week on Cheney’s position as Conference Chair, the No. 3 spot in House Republican leadership.
Axios reported late on Monday evening that Pelosi was “feeding oppo research against” McCarthy “so others can use the same harsh rhetoric to frame the Republicans as the party of dysfunction.”
“It’s shameful that Pelosi has nothing better to do with her time than produce oppo for Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger,” a top source close to GOP leadership told The Daily Wire. “And it’s telling that Cheney and Kinzinger are stupid enough to let themselves be used like that. Goodbye and good riddance to both of them.”
The report said that the attacks would ramp up this week as Republicans are set to oust Cheney on Wednesday morning from her leadership position after she refused to quit attacking former President Donald Trump instead of focusing on galvanizing support to unite in opposition to Democrat President Joe Biden.
The report said that House Democrats “must react to Republican efforts to remove” Cheney and that, according to a Democrat House aide, Pelosi is directly responsible for 95% of the messaging.
The report gave the following examples of Pelosi’s office ramping up its “opposition research” attacking McCarthy and other Republican leaders over the drama surrounding Cheney:
- The subject line from one such email, dated May 4, read: “From the GOP Leadership: Help Wanted — Non-Threatening Female.”
- The next day her office sent another email, titled: “McCarthy’s Rules: Punishing Truth, Rewarding Lies, Embracing Extremism & Bigotry.”
- Pelosi has even taken to praising Cheney — one of the most conservative members of Congress — in an effort to undercut Republican leadership.
- “I do commend Liz Cheney for her courage, for her patriotism,” Pelosi said last week.
Cheney recently wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post where she directly called out McCarthy, which comes after McCarthy backed her over an effort by some to out her from the position earlier this year, with at least one McCarthy ally suggesting that he saved her last time. Cheney’s op-ed came at roughly the same time that it was revealed that Cheney had worked to orchestrate a secret campaign countering rhetoric from then-President Donald Trump. Kinzinger has recently said that McCarthy is the one who “should have their leadership challenged.”
Cheney also helped call attention to a now-disputed report from The New York Times last summer that claimed that Russian had placed bounties on U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.
National Review reported:
The credibility of last summer’s bombshell report alleging the Russian government was paying bounties to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan took another hit this week when a senior Biden administration official told reporters they only have “low-to-moderate confidence” in the intelligence behind the story.
The intelligence was based on notoriously unreliable “detainee reporting,” the official said on the call, meaning that it came from militants looking to get out of jail.
“Democrats say they like Liz Cheney for being a truth-teller,” International security professor Max Abrahms wrote on Twitter. “But she has been a major source of misinformation on issues such as the discredited Russian bounty story. No, Cheney has been embraced by the mainstream simply for being anti-Trump.”
If reporting about Russian bounties on US forces is true, the White House must explain:
1. Why weren’t the president or vice president briefed? Was the info in the PDB?
2. Who did know and when?
3. What has been done in response to protect our forces & hold Putin accountable?
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) June 28, 2020
Some have tried to claim that Republicans looking to oust Cheney from her leadership were engaging in “cancel culture,” something largely opposed on the political Right, and were thus being hypocrites by trying to force Cheney out of her leadership position.
However, Cheney recently tried to oust a fellow Republican House member from his seat in Congress, not just a leadership position, and many were silent about the matter.
“When Liz Cheney spent $ trying to throw Thomas Massie out of Congress — not remove him from leadership — I don’t recall anyone in the media condemning her for ideological litmus tests, purity, etc,” writer Zaid Jilani tweeted. “Cheney was in an unusual position of being in leadership while trying to unseat a member of her party, which is much more extreme than shuffling leadership which happens all the time. I don’t remember anyone busting out their violin for Massie.”
Cheney was in an unusual position of being in leadership while trying to unseat a member of her party, which is much more extreme than shuffling leadership which happens all the time. I don't remember anyone busting out their violin for Massie. https://t.co/mFn4J1os36
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) May 10, 2021
McCarthy wrote a letter to Republican House members on Monday, saying that the party “need[ed]” a new leader to fill Cheney’s spot because she was focused on “relitigating the past” instead of focusing on helping the party take back the House.
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