House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he supports Rep. Liz Cheney retaining her leadership role in the GOP despite her vote to impeach former President Trump.
Mr. McCarthy told reporters, “Yes” when asked directly about whether the Wyoming Republican would continue to serve as the GOP’s No. 3 leader in the House.
“This is the same leadership team with the ranking members and others that came five seats away from winning the majority when everybody in America thought we were going to lose 20 seats,” Mr. McCarthy of California said. “Yes, we allow differences of opinion inside our conference. They’re welcomed, but I think there’s questions that need to be answered, style in which things were delivered — at the end of the day, we will unify because our policies are right.”
While Mr. McCarthy stood by Ms. Cheney, he also told reporters that he thought Mr. Trump ought to play an important role in the Republican Party‘s future as well.
“This president brought a lot of great success within, he brought people to the party that haven’t been involved before, and he should continue to engage in that way,” Mr. McCarthy said. “But the one thing I got asked a question earlier about, ‘What should the Republican Party focus on, or who should be the leader within the party?’ The one thing we learned in the last four years that President Trump brought forward, that he listened to voices that no one else was hearing on either party. Those are the voices we should continue to hear.”
Mr. McCarthy said Republicans will meet in private next week to plan for the new Congress. He said he anticipated growing pains but insisted his party would handle such problems in private.
A petition to oust Ms. Cheney from her leadership post has garnered between 115 and 120 signatures, according to House Republican sources with knowledge of the effort.
The signatures account for more than half of the 211 members of the House Republican Conference.
The petition is being circulated by Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Rosendale of Montana.
In her home state Wyoming, a 45-member Republican Party Central Committee voted unanimously to censure Ms. Cheney for her impeachment vote.
The Wyoming Republican Party issued a statement last week acknowledging its GOP voters overwhelming condemn Ms. Cheney‘s actions on impeachment.