Liz Cheney aims to be a leader for anti-Trump Republicans after primary loss – live

1 month ago

Many Republicans have stood against Donald Trump. Few have succeeded.

Liz Cheney will now be the latest to try, looking to capitalize on her conservative voting record, her vice-chairmanship of the January 6 committee and of course her father’s time as vice-president under Republican George W. Bush.

Trump remains the favorite among Republicans for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, and undoing that would require Cheney to convince the GOP to abandon the viewpoints and policies he brought into the mainstream when he won the White House in 2016. It’s a tough ask, and no shortage of Republicans have failed in the past. Just ask the eight House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment but then were ousted by voters or opted to retire, or the various party fathers and moderates who begged the GOP not to back Trump, only to be bowled over by the will of the electorate.

Why is Cheney doing it? As she said in her concession speech last night, “A few years ago, I won this primary with 73 percent of the vote. I could easily have done the same again. The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election… That was a path I could not and would not take.”

Politico’s Playbook has another theory. Cheney won’t have much competition in the Trump-hating space, they write, with the GOP more or less in his grips and Democrats split over how big of a deal to make of him among their voters. “So rather than a kamikaze mission, her primary loss may have been more like parachuting out of a plane that had outlived its usefulness. Her great task now is figuring out where to land,” Playbook says.

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A poll from Wisconsin is adding credence to the idea that Democrats are gaining strength in congressional races.

The survey from Marquette University Law School shows the Democratic nominee for Senate, Mandela Barnes, up by 51 percent against Republican incumbent Ron Johnson’s 44 percent. The race for governor is much closer, with Democratic incumbent Tony Evers coming in with 45 percent of support against Tim Michels, the Republican challenging him, whose preference was at 43 percent.

The data confirms increased momentum for Barnes, who was polling at 46 percent against Johnson’s 44 percent in a mid-June survey. In the governor’s race, it suggest tightening, as Evers was up by 48 percent against Michels’ 41 percent in the earlier poll.

It appears Harriet Hageman, the attorney who ousted Liz Cheney from the House of Representatives in the Wyoming Republican party primary, has no interest in talking to her predecessor.

Politico reports that Cheney attempted to concede in a phone call to Hageman, but ended up leaving a voice message:

NEW: Rep. Liz Cheney tells me her concession call to Harriet Hageman ended up being a "clear and direct" voicemail that she left before she went on stage last night, after trying multiple times to get in touch w/ her.

Cheney says she still has not heard anything back.

— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) August 17, 2022

"I left her a message before I went on stage -- again, after we tried three different times to reach her," Cheney told me in an interview today. "And that was that was that."

— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) August 17, 2022

As afternoon turned to evening on January 6, 2021, the US Capitol Police received the following message from the US Secret Service: “Good afternoon, The US Secret Service is passing notification to the US Capitol Police regarding discovery of a social media threat directed toward Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

The Secret Service sent along a social media post containing threats to lawmakers, including Pelosi. But according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which obtained Secret Service emails containing the warning, the agency had first learned about it two days before the insurrection at the Capitol, during which many of Donald Trump’s supporters made no secret of their desire for revenge against lawmakers who were a thorn in his side.

The investigation adds to the questions swirling around the Secret Service. The agency is embroiled in a scandal after it was revealed it allowed agents’ text messages from around the time of the attack to be deleted, prompting calls in Congress for accountability.

Richard Luscombe

Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis is facing a federal lawsuit from a state attorney he suspended earlier this month for “wokeness”.

In a Twitter post, Andrew Warren said he filed papers in Tallahassee this morning, calling his removal as state attorney for Hillsborough county “a blatant abuse of power”.

DeSantis suspended Warren on 4 August for “neglect of duty” after the twice-elected official said he would not enforce the state’s new 15-week abortion ban. The governor said Warren was following a “woke agenda,” although some analysts question the legality of the move based on an action that hasn’t taken place yet.

“The governor has broken two laws. He’s violated my first amendment rights by retaliating against me for speaking out on abortion and transgender rights, and he’s violated the Florida constitution by removing me from office without any legal justification,” Warren said in the post.

There was no immediate reaction from DeSantis’s office.

The Orlando Sentinel noted that DeSantis, seen as a likely candidate for the Republican party’s 2024 presidential nomination, has taken no action against so-called “constitutional” sheriffs who say they won’t enforce certain Florida gun laws.

Former vice-president Mike Pence asked fellow Republicans to stop lashing out at the FBI over their recent search of Donald Trump’s house, reports the Associated Press.

During an event in New Hampshire, Pence called demands from Republicans to defund the FBI “just as wrong” as previous calls from activists to divest funding from the police for other needs.

“The Republican Party is the party of law and order,” said Pence.

“Our party stands with the men and women who stand on the thin blue line at the federal and state and local level, and these attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.”

Pence added Republicans can criticize attorney general Merrick Garland and ask for more transparency around the search without condemning the FBI.

FBI officials have said that law enforcement have encountered a number of Trump supporters who seem ready to attack the FBI or those they believe are investigating Trump too much, following the search.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that the agency will undergo a massive restructuring following failures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sign stands at the entrance of their offices in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sign stands at the entrance of their offices in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Photograph: Ron Harris/AP

CDC director Rochelle P. Walensky announced the planned changes during a meeting with senior staff today, acknowledging the CDC’s botched response to Covid-19, reported the New York Times.

“For 75 years, C.D.C. and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” said Walensky on the agency’s shortcomings.

“My goal is a new, public health, action-oriented culture at C.D.C. that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness.”

Changes will be aimed at increasing the CDC’s ability to faster respond to major health crises and restoring public trust.

Critics of the CDC say that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency failed to scale up testing, vaccination efforts, and data collection.

The CDC has also been accused of publishing ineffective and contradictory health advice on Covid-19.

Similar issues have been raised about the CDC’s response to the spread of monkey pox in the US.

The day so far

Yesterday’s elections in Wyoming and Alaska have ousted Liz Cheney from her House seat while giving Sarah Palin a shot at getting her own spot in the chamber. But Cheney has vowed to keep fighting Donald Trump and his allies, a task at which many before her have failed.

Here’s a rundown of what has happened so far today:

Former vice-president Mike Pence signaled a degree of openness to talking to the January 6 committee, though with several caveats.

Rudy Giuliani has appeared before a special grand jury in Atlanta that is investigating attempts to meddle with the state’s election results in 2020. He has been told he is a target of the investigation.

The memoir of Trump’s son-in-law and former White House adviser Jared Kushner was torn apart by The New York Times’ book reviewer.

A court ruling allowed the Biden administration to again pause new oil and gas drilling leases on federal land.

While Alaska’s elections were held yesterday, it may take till the end of the month to determine the winner of closely fought races, such as the special election for the state’s vacant House of Representatives seat.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, “As of 2 a.m. Wednesday, the Alaska Division of Elections had counted over 150,000 ballots in the race that will determine Alaska’s next representative in Congress, in a special election to replace 49-year Rep. Don Young, who died unexpectedly in March. The Division will continue to accept ballots until Aug. 31, as long as they were postmarked on or before election day. Once the last ballots are counted — if no candidate crosses the 50% threshold needed to win under the state’s new ranked choice voting system — the candidate in last place will be eliminated and the second-place votes of that candidate’s supporters will be redistributed.”

Sarah Palin may nearing a return to the national political stage, Maanvi Singh reports, after Alaska voters gave her decent support in last night’s special election:

Sarah Palin looks set to be on the ballot in November’s general election after the former governor of Alaska and ex vice-presidential candidate clinched one of four spots vying for a seat in the US House, according to the Associated Press.

Palin, who rose to fame more than a decade ago as John McCain’s running mate, advanced to the general election along with her two challengers, Nick Begich III, a tech millionaire backed by the Alaska Republican party, and Mary Peltola, a former state legislator and Democrat. It was too early to call the fourth spot.

Palin, Peltola and Begich are competing for Alaska’s only House seat, formerly occupied by Don Young, who died in March. The trio were also competing in a special election to serve the remainder of Young’s term, which ends early next year.

“This book is like a tour of a once majestic 18th-century wooden house, now burned to its foundations, that focuses solely on, and rejoices in, what’s left amid the ashes: the two singed bathtubs, the gravel driveway and the mailbox.” That’s a line in a New York Times review of a Trump administration official’s newly published memoir. But whose?

The answer: Jared Kushner.

The literary savaging of “Breaking History”, the memoir of Donald Trump’s son-in-law who became one of his closest White House advisers, was carried out by Times literary critic Dwight Garner, who is clearly no fan of the former president’s policies. “Kushner almost entirely ignores the chaos, the alienation of allies, the breaking of laws and norms, the flirtations with dictators, the comprehensive loss of America’s moral leadership, and so on, ad infinitum, to speak about his boyish tinkering (the “mechanic”) with issues he was interested in,” Garner writes.

The reviewer however finds plenty of issues with the book’s content and prose irrespective of its politics, concluding that it ultimately contains so little meaningful insights into the Trump administration as to be uninteresting to just about every party that would want to read it.

“You finish ‘Breaking History’ wondering: Who is this book for? There’s not enough red meat for the MAGA crowd, and Kushner has never appealed to them anyway. Political wonks will be interested — maybe, to a limited degree — but this material is more thoroughly and reliably covered elsewhere. He’s a pair of dimples without a demographic,” Garner says.

Here’s the latest on Liz Cheney’s primary defeat and plans for political rebirth, from David Smith on the ground in Jackson, Wyoming along with Richard Luscombe and Joanna Walters:

Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney has announced she is considering her own run for the White House in an all-out effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning another term as US president.

Cheney decisively lost her Republican primary race on Tuesday night and will lose her seat in the US Congress.

The Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman beat Cheney by almost 40 points as Wyoming voters took revenge for her voting to impeach Trump and for focusing on her role on the January 6 House select committee.

The panel, of which Cheney is vice-chair and one of only two Republicans, is investigating Trump’s role in fomenting the insurrection at the US Capitol by his supporters on 6 January 2021, in a vain attempt to stay in office following his defeat by Joe Biden.

Liz Cheney was praised on MSNBC this morning by, of all people, White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

“I don’t think there was anything we agree on,” said Klain, who was tasked by Joe Biden with getting his legislative proposals through Congress. “But, I respect enormously her commitment to democracy.”

.@WHCOS Ron Klain commends Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) for upholding her oath to the Constitution, instead of swearing "fealty" to Donald Trump:

"I respect enormously [Liz Cheney's] commitment to democracy ... instead of her commitment to one man." pic.twitter.com/wIKog8CyQQ

— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022

Pence 'would consider' talking to January 6 committee - but with caveats

A closer look at former vice-president Mike Pence’s remarks about testifying before the January 6 committee indicates Donald Trump’s one-time White House deputy would indeed entertain the request, but also has concerns about the constitutional implications.

Here’s a full video of his comments:

Former Vice President Mike Pence when asked if he would cooperate if the January 6th committee called on him to testify:

“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.” pic.twitter.com/y9NFrHwYtf

— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act signed yesterday was another major part of the Biden administration’s climate plan, and includes a slew of new tax incentives to encourage green investments, Oliver Milman reports:

The giant climate bill signed by Joe Biden on Tuesday is set to touch upon myriad aspects of Americans’ lives, helping shape everything from the cars they drive to the stovetops in their kitchens.

Biden has lauded the $369bn of climate spending in the Inflation Reduction Act as the “largest investment ever in combatting the existential crisis of climate change” and predicted it will save people hundreds of dollars each year in energy costs. This claim is based upon a series of investments aimed at shifting buying habits away from a polluting status quo towards cleaner, electrified vehicles and appliances.

A US household could save $1,800 on their energy costs each year, according to a recent estimate, although this would require the installation of electric heat pumps for hot water and air conditioning, replacing a gasoline-powered car with an electric vehicle and installing solar panels on the roof.

Court allows Biden administration to again pause oil and gas leases on federal land

A Louisiana judge has allowed the Biden administration to reinstate a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal land, in a win for the White House’s climate policy, Reuters reports.

The order by a judge in the fifth circuit court of appeals overturns a previous lower court ruling that blocked the pause, which Joe Biden announced in the opening days of his administration. Earlier this year, the interior department began selling new onshore oil and natural gas drilling leases while the case made its way through court.

Mild tidbit of news from Mike Pence during his appearance in New Hampshire, as reported by Politico:

Former VP Mike Pence says if there was an invitation to testify before the Jan. 6 committee, "I would consider it." #nhpolitics

— Lisa Kashinsky (@lisakashinsky) August 17, 2022

Pence isn’t known to have talked to the committee. However, his name has been all over the public hearings, which have featured in-person and videotaped testimony from people close to Trump’s vice-president about what he was doing in the days before the attack on the Capitol, and during the assault, when he had to flee to a hidden area. Meanwhile, Pence’s former chief of staff has spoken to a grand jury investigating the assault.

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has arrived at an Atlanta court for his appearance before a special grand jury investigating the effort to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.

He was greeted by something of a media circus:

Rudy Giuliani has arrived at the Fulton County Courthouse to testify in grand jury proceedings looking into interference in the 2020 election results. @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/6mAC7AdcNQ

— Madeline Montgomery (@MadelineTV) August 17, 2022

Rudy Giuliani arrives at the Fulton County Courthouse, with a mob of cameras and reporters following his entrance, as he is set to testify behind closed doors in a special grand jury probe.

He is a target of the investigation. #gapol pic.twitter.com/64BWdHcKVT

— stephen fowler (@stphnfwlr) August 17, 2022

Giuliani’s appearance will not be public, but Fulton county district attorney Fani Willis, who convened the special grand jury, has informed the one-time New York City mayor he is a target of the investigation. Giuliani made repeated efforts to convince state officials that Georgia’s 2020 election results were fraudulent, but none of the allegations were ever found to have substance.

Many Republicans have stood against Donald Trump. Few have succeeded.

Liz Cheney will now be the latest to try, looking to capitalize on her conservative voting record, her vice-chairmanship of the January 6 committee and of course her father’s time as vice-president under Republican George W. Bush.

Trump remains the favorite among Republicans for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, and undoing that would require Cheney to convince the GOP to abandon the viewpoints and policies he brought into the mainstream when he won the White House in 2016. It’s a tough ask, and no shortage of Republicans have failed in the past. Just ask the eight House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment but then were ousted by voters or opted to retire, or the various party fathers and moderates who begged the GOP not to back Trump, only to be bowled over by the will of the electorate.

Why is Cheney doing it? As she said in her concession speech last night, “A few years ago, I won this primary with 73 percent of the vote. I could easily have done the same again. The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election… That was a path I could not and would not take.”

Politico’s Playbook has another theory. Cheney won’t have much competition in the Trump-hating space, they write, with the GOP more or less in his grips and Democrats split over how big of a deal to make of him among their voters. “So rather than a kamikaze mission, her primary loss may have been more like parachuting out of a plane that had outlived its usefulness. Her great task now is figuring out where to land,” Playbook says.

After primary loss, Liz Cheney aims for new job: Trump foe-in-chief

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Last night, Republican voters rejected Liz Cheney’s bid to continue serving as their congresswoman, meaning she has only the remainder of the year left in the House of Representatives. She will continue in the highly public role of vice-chair of the January 6 committee, but this morning, Cheney said she is thinking about a run for presidency in 2024 – putting her in a position to compete directly against Donald Trump, a fellow Republican whom she loathes.

We’re certain to hear more about that today, but here’s what else is happening:

In Alaska, ex-governor Sarah Palin advanced in the special election to fill the state’s open house seat, giving the one-time vice-presidential nominee a shot at returning to national politics. Voters will make their final decision in November.

Former vice-president Mike Pence – who also fell out with Trump – is in New Hampshire, another state where voters are known as early kingmakers for aspiring presidential candidates. Indeed, Pence has hinted he may run in 2024.

The Biden administration will attempt a victory lap following the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act yesterday, the Democrats’ landmark spending plan to fight climate change and lower health care costs. However Joe Biden himself is on vacation in Delaware.

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