““At this moment we’re confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before. And that is a former president who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic. And he is aided by Republican leaders and elected officials who made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man.””
That was a portion of Liz Cheney’s now-viral speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday night. The Wyoming Republican and daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney drew a standing ovation by pulling no punches in calling out former President Donald Trump — and the members of her own party who have supported him — for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Cheney, who is also the vice chairwoman of the House Jan. 6 Committee investigating what happened at the Capitol complex that day, and in the days surrounding the riot, gave a speech that laid out some of the most damning revelations against Trump and his administration that have come out of the public hearings over the past few weeks.
“It has become clear that the efforts Donald Trump oversaw and engaged in are even more chilling and more threatening than we could have imagined,” said Cheney.
““Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.””
Cheney outlined the evidence that the committee has presented to show that Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power over to Joe Biden. She said that Trump “summoned a mob to Washington,” and attempted to join them in marching on the Capitol. She said that Trump knew that many in the mob were armed, and he knew that some of them were calling to hang then-Vice President Mike Pence. “He said, quote, ‘Mike deserves it,’” said Cheney. And she also noted that the former president “refused to take action” to tell the rioters to stop and to go home.
“The reality we face today as Republicans, as we think about the choice in front of us, we have to choose, because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution,” she said, to loud and lingering applause.
You can watch her full speech here.
Her address comes at a time when Trump’s advisers have suggested he could announce a 2024 presidential campaign. And Cheney herself is facing a Trump-supported challenger for her Wyoming congressional seat in August.
Related: June 2022 will be remembered as the month that ‘finished off Donald Trump’: analysts react to Jan. 6 hearings
Cheney also praised Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, whose bombshell testimony this week claimed that the former president demanded to be taken to join the mob at the Capitol. “Her bravery and her patriotism yesterday were awesome to behold,” said Cheney. “Little girls all across this great nation are seeing what it really means to love this country and what it really means to be a patriot.”
She added, “And let me also say this to the little girls and to the young women who are watching tonight: these days, for the most part, men are running the world, and it’s really not going all that well.”