Washington – Wyoming Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) joined “The Daily Briefing With Dana Perino” on Fox News to discuss the latest reports of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spy infiltrating American politicians including Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and the failure of Speaker Pelosi to confront China’s attacks against the United States.
Watch video of the interview here, and see the transcript below:
DANA PERINO:Let’s bring in Congresswoman Liz Cheney, she is Chair of the House Republican Conference, and, of course, from my wonderful home state of Wyoming. Congresswoman, I guess I want to get your overall take on this situation, but also Swalwell is saying that the only reason that this has leaked now is because he has criticized President Trump. I’d like your take on both of those things.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Thanks, Dana for having me. First of all, I think the reports that we are seeing are alarming. You have a situation where it looks like Representative Swalwell was identified, cultivated, and potentially funded by a Chinese Communist spy. This happened before he came to Congress, but once he got to Congress, there are real questions about whether or not Speaker Pelosi knew this when she put him on the House Intel Committee. I think that unfortunately and concerningly, this is part of a much larger pattern where we know that the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese government, is on the attack against the United States of America. So far, it seems only one party in Congress is willing to take them on, willing to stand up for the United States, willing to fight back. Time and time again, you’ve got Speaker Pelosi and too many of the Democrats refusing to acknowledge that the Chinese Communist Party is an adversary and that we are under threat, and we’ve got to take steps to defend the nation and protect ourselves. I think this is simply the latest episode demonstrating very concerning behavior on the part of the Democrats.
PERINO: Pelosi’s office actually said that Kevin McCarthy is the one who needs to look at his own new members that have expressed support for QAnon or a belief in the QAnon theory. How do you think that that will go down? Obviously they’re trying to deflect attention from this.
REP. CHENEY: Exactly, I think that we’re in a situation today where we know that the Chinese government is attempting to attack us through economic means, from a national security and military perspective, from an intelligence perspective. The Leader established a task force in the House of Representatives to focus on bipartisan legislation that we could bring forward to help protect the United States – Speaker Pelosi refused to name any Democrats to that. We just passed, yesterday, the National Defense Authorization Act with very important provisions in it to protect the United States against the threat from China. I think it’s important for the Speaker to stop trying to divert attention and to focus on the challenges she faces internally with respect to ensuring that the Chinese espionage that we’ve seen does not get a larger foothold in the United States government and among her party.
PERINO: This does go back a few years. Obviously, we’re talking about that the FBI gave a defensive briefing to Congressman Swalwell. Now, President Trump was not given a defensive briefing when there was suggestions or concerns that the Russians might have been trying to influence the Trump Campaign. What do you think about that? Is that a double standard or are there circumstances that would explain that?
REP. CHENEY: I think one of the big pieces of this that people have not really focused on, Congressman Swalwell sits on the House Intelligence Committee. Speaker Pelosi not only put him on that committee, but she took that committee and insisted that that committee focus on impeachment, focus on efforts to impeach the President at a time when we know this threat from China was growing. So, we had about a year where the House Intelligence Committee had its attention completely diverted, focused on their impeachment effort instead of focusing on this threat from China. The extent to which there may or may not have been defensive briefings, we only know what we’ve seen in the news, we only know because of the reporting. I think it’s very concerning that it appears that this agent of the Chinese government was able to place an intern in Congressman Swalwell’s office. And the Speaker, given her position, must have known. I would imagine she had been briefed about the influence on a Member of the delegation from her own state before he got to Congress. Regardless of that, she put him on the Intelligence Committee anyway. I think it’s cause for real concern.
PERINO: How widespread do you think this possible spy operation is when it comes to targeting Members of the elected leadership of our country?
REP. CHENEY: I think it’s probably very extensive. I think you can look back at what you’ve seen in terms of public remarks from the FBI Director Chris Wray, from our National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, from the Secretary of State, from the President. I think you’ve seen, extensively, we know what the Chinese government is attempting to do, they are attempting to take advantage of our open system, they are attempting to steal our secrets, they are attempting to ensure that we no longer have military superiority. We know that this particular person, for example, began on a college campus. She got her start as one of the infiltrators it seems that the Chinese government has throughout academia. I think things like shutting down the Confucius Institutes and making sure we understand that this is going to be a challenge for the next generation. Certainly, we have to defend ourselves.
PERINO: Congresswoman Cheney, thanks, as was always for joining us.
REP. CHENEY: Thanks Dana, always great to be with you.