Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the chair of the House Republican Conference, would not support former President Donald Trump should he run for the White House as the GOP nominee in 2024, she said Wednesday.
Ms. Cheney separated herself from fellow top Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky by saying that she would not support Mr. Trump if their party nominates him again.
Appearing on Fox News, Ms. Cheney said the Republican Party should neither embrace nor minimize the events of Jan. 6, when the U.S. Capitol building was stormed by mobs of Mr. Trump‘s supporters.
“I’ve been clear about my views of what happened on January 6, about my views of the president’s culpability,” she said. “I obviously voted to impeach him. I think that it was the gravest violation of an oath of office by any president in American history. And I’m going to continue to make sure people understand that.
“I think for us as a party, we’ve got to be the party of hope and aspiration, and we cannot embrace insurrection. We can’t minimize what happened on Jan. 6,” Ms. Cheney said.
Fox News host Neal Cavuto subsequently asked Ms. Cheney later during the segment whether she would back Mr. Trump if fellow Republicans select him to run as their presidential nominee next election.
“If Donald Trump were the 2024 nominee, would you support him?” asked Mr. Cavuto.
“I would not,” Ms. Cheney replied bluntly.
Mr. McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, said in February that he would “absolutely” back Mr. Trump in the event he is nominated by the GOP to run for president again in the next election.
More recently, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Mr. Trump, said earlier this week that she, too, would support the former president if he runs for office again in 2024.
Mr. McConnell and Ms. Haley both previously criticized Mr. Trump following the attack on the Capitol, which happened as Congress met to formalize the results of the race he lost to President Biden.
The House voted shortly after the attack to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting an insurrection. Members of the Senate ultimately voted to acquit him of the charge, however.
Mr. Biden, a Democrat who denied Mr. Trump a second term in the White House by defeating him in last year’s White House race, said in March that his “plan is to run for reelection” in 2024.
Mr. Biden will be 81 years old when the next presidential election is scheduled to happen in November 2024; Mr. Trump will be 78, comparatively.