President Biden said “I don’t understand the Republicans” on Wednesday when he was asked about a GOP push to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her No. 3 leadership post.
Biden made the brief comment to reporters — the first time he has weighed in on the Cheney leadership issue — as he returned to his motorcade from a Cinco de Mayo stop at a Washington, DC, taqueria.
Cheney (R-Wyo.) is all but certain to lose her position as chair of the House Republican Caucus over her continued denunciations of former President Donald Trump.
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is the leading contender to replace her. On Wednesday, the upstate congresswoman received Trump’s endorsement after securing House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s support.
Republicans initially stood by Cheney after she voted in January to impeach Trump for allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In February, she survived an effort by Trump allies to eject her from her leadership post. Cheney, a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, prevailed in a 145-61 vote.
But Cheney’s continued statements about Trump eroded her support, most notably among Republican leaders trying to reunify the party ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. She recently lost the backing of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Stefanik, first elected in 2014, was a member of Trump’s ceremonial defense team last year during his first Senate impeachment trial for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats, including alleged Biden family corruption.
Cheney and Trump clashed while he was in office, including on Afghanistan war policy.
In December, Trump vetoed a $740 billion defense bill in part because of Cheney-pushed restrictions on removing troops from Afghanistan, Germany and South Korea.
Trump denounced Cheney by name during a speech to supporters immediately before the Capitol riot.
“We’ve got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them. We got to get rid. You know, she never wants a soldier brought home,” Trump said.