Washington – This morning, Wyoming Congresswoman and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) joined “Fox and Friends” to discuss a letter she signed with her colleagues calling on Speaker Pelosi to remove Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Speaker’s overall failure to address the national security threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Watch the full interview here and see excerpts of her answers below:
STEVE DOOCY: Wyoming Republican Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney joins us right now from the Russell Rotunda. Congresswoman, good morning to you.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Good morning, great to be with you guys, as always.
DOOCY: It’s good to have you as well. Does Eric Swalwell represent a national security hazard?
REP. CHENEY: I think that he does. I think there are real questions about the extent to which he was clearly cultivated, financial support was provided by this bundling by this Chinese spy. It sounds like she placed an intern in his office, and I think the real question is why Speaker Pelosi hasn’t taken action. You’ve watched her, again and again, treat her responsibility over the Intelligence Committee with something less than seriousness. At this moment where we face grave national security threats. Not only has she let Congressman Swalwell stay on that committee, not taking action, she diverted the attention to that committee for months and months and months on to impeachment, instead of being focused on the threat from China, the threat of the coronavirus, for example, so I think it’s an issue of grave concern, she needs to take action and that’s why we sent the letter.
DOOCY: Well she said, you know, last week she wasn’t concerned but at the same time, she’s the one who heard from law enforcement or the Intel Community that Swalwell had been, you know, compromised by this Chinese asset, but it was her judgment, even though she heard that, to put him on the committee.
REP. CHENEY: Right, and I think, you know, on the whole issue of the threat that China poses to the United States, this is a grave, grave threat, and we’ve got to have bipartisan agreement on being able to work together to defend this nation across-the-board from that threat. It’s one of the reasons it was so disappointing that the Speaker said she wasn’t going to participate in the China Task Force that the Leader setup in the House. It’s one of the reasons, frankly, why the National Defense Authorization Act is so critically important. It has really important language in it that helps to protect against Chinese industrial espionage, helps us to be much more independent, our supply chains, and to protect our bases from the threat of Chinese espionage. We really need to make sure, across-the-board, we’re defending ourselves.
DOOCY: Congresswoman, we’ve been talking about the Swalwell case for a while, but we had Tom Cotton on with us a little while ago, the Senator from across the chamber there.
REP. CHENEY: I know Tom.
DOOCY: You do know Tom, we all know Tom. And I asked him, why exactly did he think the New York Times has not even touched this story about Swalwell and China? And listen to Tom Cotton’s answer — I was told we had it, but apparently we don’t, so, I’m going to go —
REP. CHENEY: I heard it the first time.
DOOCY: He said, “it makes you wonder how deeply in the pocket of Chinese interest on these major media corporations, the New York Times, Washington Post has gotten money from running Chinese propaganda over the years and many TV stations are owned or affiliated with major movie studios who are trying to get access to the Chinese theatre market.” I was using my Tom Cotton voice, in a quick way there.
REP. CHENEY: There’s no question. I mean, look at things like the Mulan movie that came out recently where they actually thanked the Chinese government entity that runs the concentration camps that the Uyghurs are now in and look at things like the NBA where players are absolutely condemned, they’re not even allowed to speak out in support of human rights in Hong Kong. The Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese government has managed to infiltrate at the highest levels of our entertainment industry, of our media, certainly we’ve got, you know, we know they’ve been engaged in the hack of personnel information. It’s a very serious, very significant threat, and the fact that Speaker Pelosi refuses to address the situation with Congressman Swalwell, she’s called it a “diversion” when we’ve said to her, we need to make sure we’re protected against this threat from China. She’s simply not serious about the threat. We as a nation cannot afford to have somebody as a Speaker of the House, who’s not serious about the most important national security threat we face.
DOOCY: Do you worry there are fellow Members of Congress who may be, right now, influenced by China?
REP. CHENEY: Look, I think we all have to protect ourselves. We all have to assume, we know from what we’ve seen publicly, we know what the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to do, and I think we’ve all got to assume that they’re targeting anybody that they can target. We’ve got to make sure that people understand. Look, I think that the coronavirus, the extent to which they caused that to be spread around the world, has really shown a spotlight on the nature of that regime and has really focused the attention of not just people in the United States, but our allies around the world on the threat that they pose, and how important it is we protect ourselves by moving supply chains, by ending our dependence on the Chinese government for things like rare-earth minerals, how important it is that we make sure our allies do not allow Huawei to have access to their 5G systems. They are a real threat and they do not, we do not want to live in a world where the Chinese Communist Party sets the rules. That is going to be a world in which their massive individual surveillance state is imposed on all of us. We’ve got to stand up against it, America has to lead the way in doing that.
DOOCY: And now some people are just finally waking up to the threat it has been posing for a while. Representative Cheney, thank you very much for joining us. Have a safe trip as you travel back to Wyoming to be with your family over the holiday.
REP. CHENEY: Thank you, you guys too. Merry Christmas, everybody.
DOOCY: Merry Christmas, thank you.