There may be a schism forming in the Republican party.
At a meeting Tuesday between conservative GOP members of the House of Representatives—the House Freedom Caucus—things reportedly got "heated" as several members attacked Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney for her views.
The source of their rage stemmed from Cheney's support of Dr. Anthony Fauci and criticism of President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic.
This was revealed by sources to Politico reporter, Melanie Zanona.
Things getting HEATED at House GOP conference meeting right now. Matt Gaetz & Thomas Massie both got on the mics… https://t.co/IUNmlkUEvb— Melanie Zanona (@Melanie Zanona)1595340122.0
Reps. Louie Gohmert & Andy Biggs also got on the mics to defend Massie & express their concerns. Biggs even accuse… https://t.co/bIHitOowRS— Melanie Zanona (@Melanie Zanona)1595341152.0
Now Jim Jordan is laying into Cheney for all the times she has broke with Trump and started listing them off. He s… https://t.co/rimuduWfRX— Melanie Zanona (@Melanie Zanona)1595341693.0
On Tuesday, members of the House Freedom Caucus fought with Cheney on her stances, including supporting Dr. Fauci, who has been at odds with Trump's policies for the ongoing pandemic. Caucus members Jim Jordan of Ohio and Andy Biggs of Arizona accused Cheney of undermining the President and the party's ability to win back the House.
Cheney said she disagrees and:
"I look forward to hearing your comments about being a team player when we're back in the majority."
After the meeting, Florida Republican Matt Gaetz tweeted that Cheney should step down if she doesn't show complete support of Trump.
Liz Cheney has worked behind the scenes (and now in public) against @realDonaldTrump and his agenda. House Republi… https://t.co/9SJqLdaQ3w— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1595348755.0
@laurenthehough @mattgaetz @realDonaldTrump FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈)1595353627.0
@ThePubliusUSA @mattgaetz @realDonaldTrump Not even the party. Just trump.— Still I Rise (@Still I Rise)1595350129.0
@mattgaetz @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/l2wfH1P4vJ— YS (@YS)1595349386.0
Other GOP Congressmen also reportedly took swipes at Cheney, including Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who called out Cheney for donating to a primary challenger in his re-election bid. However, after the story broke, Cheney told reporters she and Massie are "in a good place."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke in defense of Cheney, saying:
"We're honored to have her as conference chair."
But most of the criticism came down to Cheney's comments in opposition of the President, especially in regard to the pandemic. While Trump has been frustrated with the lagging economy and even taken to conspiracy theories to try and claim things aren't so bad, his undermining of health officials has been detrimental to the health of our nation.
Cheney has, in turn, defended Dr. Fauci as the best person to guide us through this emergency.
@CNNPolitics It seems clear that it is more imporant for the GOP to stay in line with the president than to protect… https://t.co/OQTX5NfEmy— Corin BarsilyGoodwin (@Corin BarsilyGoodwin)1595367261.0
@Leba_Miller @CNNPolitics She isn't "their own". That's the whole point. She broke from the cult line, even by a li… https://t.co/8GM5zMmZhZ— Blurry Jester (@Blurry Jester)1595378699.0
@Leba_Miller @MSNBC @kasie Power it’s that simple— Captain Marcy Resists!!! (@Captain Marcy Resists!!!)1595394170.0
Despite the harsh criticism, Cheney has stood by her remarks and her criticisms of the President. She says she takes her leadership role in the House seriously and that health exchanges are good for the party.
It's probably not a great idea to go cheering on Cheney just yet.
The 3rd most powerful member of the GOP in the House also votes with the president 97 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight's Trump Score, which is more often than any of the other House members mentioned in this article.
While it's good that more politicians are willing to stand up for science in our current struggle, it's quite literally the bare minimum.