Republican lawmakers privately support to Rep. Liz Cheney but refuses to do so in public for fear of former President Donald Trump, according to extracts from a new book.
The claim appeared in “Thank You For Your Servitude,” by Mark Leibovich, a political writer who speaks years at The New York Times Magazine and now writes for The Atlantic.
The book is devoted to exploring Trump’s circle, and alleges that many people who support him in public are hypocrites who privately dislike him.
One Republican member of Congress to vocally oppose Trump is Cheney, who was stripped of a party leadership role in 2021 for criticizing the former president.
Since then, Cheney has found an influential spot as one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol.
In his book, Leibovich wrote: “The wonder of this was that many Republicans agree with Cheney, quite a few of them members of her caucus. They say as much, tell her what a great job she is doing, how heroic she’s been. “
“But they only ever tell her this privately, always privately — just between you and me, please do not repeat this, off the record, okay?”
Cheney has been made a pariah in the GOP over her opposition to Trump and is facing several ardently pro-Trump primary challengers for her Wyoming congressional seat.
The extract continued: “Colleagues approach Cheney, people she’s been friendly with for years, a colleague who might have just trashed her into a microphone or voted to bounce her as the House Republican Conference chair.
“They look at her, as if they were really worried about her well-being— especially certain male colleagues. They look her in the eye, all faux caring and protective, maybe touch her arm. And they’ll ask, ‘Are you okay? You hanging in there? ‘ Cheney tends not to appreciate these gestures of concern, “Leibovich wrote.
In the wake of the January 6 riot, some senior Republicans, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, were publicly critical of Trump, and in private conversations called for him to be held to account for provoking the violence.
But as Trump’s popularity with Republican voters held firm, most backed away from their positions and positioned themselves as Trump loyalists, and have since sought to undermine the credibility of Cheney and the rest of the January 6 panel.