Washington, D.C. – This morning, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” to preview this morning’s House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol hearing.
See below for video of her full interviews, along with their transcripts:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:Congresswoman Liz Cheney joins us this morning. First, let me begin — good morning, Congresswoman. Let me begin by extending our condolences on the passing of your Wyoming colleague, former Senator Mike Enzi.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Thank you very much, George. He was a giant and will be really deeply missed by all of us.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You are taking a lot of heat from your Republican colleagues for joining this committee. Kevin McCarthy is talking about taking away your committee assignments. What you and the committee hope to achieve, and will you see it through even if it costs you your seat?
REP. CHENEY:You know, this is absolutely not a game. This is deadly serious. There are some in my party, including Leader McCarthy, who continue to act as though this is about partisan politics. I think it’s really sad. I think it’s a disgrace. This Capitol was attacked. It was attacked while we were counting electoral votes, and the American people deserve the truth. They deserve to know exactly what happened. They deserve to know minute by minute what decisions were being made both here and in the White House, and they deserve to get to the bottom of it. And we have to make sure it never happens again. We’ve got to make sure we defend our Republic and that we defend the rule of law.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Jim Jordan was McCarthy’s pick for this committee, and this new book, “I Alone Can Fix It,” reports on an encounter you had with him on January 6th. You told him, “Get away from me, you did this.” What did you mean by, “you did this,” and do you think Jordan should be called to testify?
REP. CHENEY:I think that Congressman Jordan may well be a material witness. He’s somebody who was involved in a number of meetings in the lead-up to what happened on January 6th, involved in planning for January 6th, certainly for the objections that day as he said publicly, so he may well be a material witness. We will on this committee follow the facts wherever they go and get to the bottom of it, and, George, we’ll do it in a nonpartisan way, which is absolutely crucial for the future of the nation.
STEPHANOPOULOS:Leader McCarthy also had phone calls with President Trump on that day. Are Leader McCarthy and former President Trump material witnesses as well?
REP. CHENEY: Look, I think that the American people, as I said, deserve to know what happened every minute of that day. They deserve to know about every phone call that was made in and out of the White House, every meeting, every discussion that was had that day in the White House as the Capitol building was under attack. And so, the committee will go wherever it needs to go to get to the facts.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that could include subpoenas for Mr. McCarthy and former
REP. CHENEY:It could. The committee will go wherever we need to go to get to the facts.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you explain why so many of your fellow Republicans rather than focusing on this investigation seem to be engaging in revisionist history about what happened on that day?
REP. CHENEY:I can’t explain it, George. I really can’t. I think when we see these four heroes today in this hearing, when we see once again the video of what happened that day, you know, my colleagues, many of them, I think, almost all of them on that day and in the days after understood what had happened — made public statements explaining that they understood what had happened, that this attack was un-American, that is was unacceptable, that it was an assault on our democracy, and I cannot explain why they have in such a short period of time gone from understanding that danger to now, in some cases, trying to whitewash it, trying to ignore what happened, and embracing President Trump, who we know a number of the people who were here invading the Capitol said they were here doing it because of him. So, I can’t explain that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve been called a “Pelosi Republican” and a “Clinton Republican,” what kind of Republican do you call yourself?
REP. CHENEY:I am a conservative Republican. I always have been, and I think that this is certainly not the time for name-calling. I think that those who are engaging in that just demonstrate, yet again, they don’t understand — they don’t understand, they don’t care about, or they’re trying to obstruct this investigation into what happened.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congresswoman Cheney, thanks for your time this morning.
REP. CHENEY:Thank you, George.
ANTHONY MASON: Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney is one of the Republicans on the committee, she was also one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump after the attack. Congresswoman Cheney joins us now. Good morning, thanks for being with us.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: Good morning, Anthony. Thank you for having me.
MASON:Why are you defying the GOP leadership to participate in this investigation?
REP. CHENEY: Look, I think that some things must be above politics and getting to the bottom of what happened on January 6th, making sure that the American people have all of the details of what led to that attack and what happened on that day, doing everything we need to do to preserve and protect the Constitution, the rule of law, to ensure that that kind of attack never happens again and that the people who did it are held accountable. Those are things that have to be above politics and have to be above partisanship. I believe my duty and my oath to the Constitution is very clear, and I think that we all have to play a role in making sure this never happens again.
MASON: The committee is technically bipartisan, but a lot of your fellow GOP members did not want this investigation to happen. Does this feel kind of surreal to you, that a mob attacks the Capitol and a good part of Congress doesn’t want to investigate this?
REP. CHENEY:You know, it feels sad to me, Anthony. If you go back and look at what many of my colleagues, probably almost all of my colleagues, said about this attack in the days just after it, it was clear that they all understood then what had happened. They understood the consequences. They understood how grave it was that we had had an attack on the Capitol while we were counting electoral votes. They understood how important it was that no help came, the president did not send help while the attack was underway. Those were things that everyone understood and said publicly in many cases in the days just after the attack. What to me is sad is how many people’s views seem to have changed and how many people are now playing politics with the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.
GAYLE KING:Well, they do seem to have selective amnesia, Congresswoman Cheney. Why do you think that is?
REP. CHENEY:You know, you’d have to ask them, Gayle. I just think that it’s not worthy of these offices that we hold. You know, when you are elected to office, when you take the oath, your obligation and responsibility above all else is to protect the Constitution, and the extent to which people are now putting politics ahead of that is, to me, a really dangerous sign for the nation. And it’s something that we — those of us who recognize and understand it’s wrong, need to stand up and make sure we do our duty.
KING:Is it personally painful to you and hard for you to do your job when so many people in your own party are working so publicly against you?
REP. CHENEY:No. Look, I really don’t think about it that way. I think about the four brave heroes we’re going to see this morning, for example. The video that we’re going to see that demonstrates what they did to protect us, to defend us, to defend our constitutional function. That’s what I think about. And I also think about my kids, and I think about the future and our duty to make sure that we protect this Republic and hand it to them. And so, you know, those are the things that I think we all need to be focused on and our individual obligation to do that is above everything else.
JERICKA DUNCAN: Congresswoman, some Republicans want this focus to be on the Democrats. In fact, one of your colleagues, Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, said that there were intelligence reports that the leadership of the Capitol Police were aware of. What do you make of this blame almost being shifted to Democrats as if they were responsible or should have done more?
REP. CHENEY:Look, I think that we need to look at all of these issues. If you look at the report that came out from the Senate committee that was bipartisan, it identified a number of intelligence failings on that day, and ensuring that this doesn’t happen again means we have to look at both what happened — why the Capitol was not defended and protected with the resources it should have been, but at the end of the day we had a mob attempt to invade the Capitol — did invade the Capitol — in an attempt to stop us from counting electoral votes. And the idea that we can look away from that or whitewash it is really disgraceful in my view.
MASON:Congresswoman, you’ve been attacked by your own party. Leader McCarthy called you a “Pelosi Republican.” Do you feel you still have a place in the Republican Party and have you or are you considering challenging, perhaps, former President Trump for the presidential nomination?
REP. CHENEY: You know, I am a conservative Republican. The first time I ever voted was in 1984 for Ronald Reagan. I believe that this nation needs a strong Republican Party. We need two strong parties. We need a Republican Party that can win elections based on ideas and substance, but we cannot be a party that embraces insurrection, and we cannot be a party that embraces the Big Lie. We have to tell our voters the truth, and we have to stand for principles and substance and engage in those battles that way. You know, the partisan attacks that are coming right now, they’re really childish and they really do reflect a lack of — either a lack of understanding or an attempt to cover up what happened that day and why it’s so important for us to get to the bottom of it.
MASON:Would you consider a run for the presidency yourself?
REP. CHENEY:I am very focused right now, Anthony, on the task we have ahead of us, which is making sure that something like January 6th never happens again, telling the American people the truth, and holding the people who did this accountable and responsible. I think it’s the most important thing we’re doing.
KING:Are some of your Republican colleagues telling you things differently behind closed doors than what they’re saying publicly?
REP. CHENEY: Absolutely. I mean, I think we’ve seen that certainly since January 6th —
KING: Like what? Like what, Congresswoman?
REP. CHENEY:People who recognize and understand, people who say thank you for what you’re doing, people who during the impeachment vote, for example, said that they were concerned about their own security. We’ve seen that all along. We’re in a really unprecedented moment in American politics, and I think the American people need to really think about that, think about what it means that Members of Congress feel that they can’t vote the way that their conscience dictates because they’re worried about violence. That is a moment we’ve not seen before, certainly since the Civil War, in this nation, so I think it is an unprecedented moment.
KING: Doesn’t that bother you though? Don’t you want to say, okay, guys, men and women, put on your big girl pants, your big boy pants and stand with me and tell the truth, instead of leaving you out there by yourself?
REP. CHENEY: Look, the number of people who will stand up for the truth, you know, I wish there were more, but it doesn’t affect the rightness of doing this, and it doesn’t affect my duty, and I do think it’s very important. It’s important for voters as they’re watching this unfold to think about the kind of representation they want and to think about the gravity of the issues that this country is facing and having leaders who will rise to that challenge and leaders who will deal with these issues seriously.
MASON:Congresswoman Cheney, thank you so much for being with us. We do appreciate it.
REP. CHENEY:Thank you very much for having me.