By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney specifically blamed President Donald Trump for inciting the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday that left four people dead and scores more arrested.
Cheney spoke with Fox News via phone on Wednesday evening before Congress reconvened to confirm former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in November’s presidential election, solidifying Trump’s defeat.
“We just had a violent mob assault the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our Constitutional duty,” Cheney said. “There is no question that the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame.”
The representative was referring to Trump’s comments during a rally held shortly before Congress was to discuss certification of the Electoral College’s vote. During that rally, Trump told the crowd he would “never concede” the election to Biden and attacked Cheney and other “weak Congresspeople.”
Trump posted a video message Wednesday after the storming of the Capitol where he thanked protesters for their support, but asked them to go home. He also continued to claim throughout the day that the election had been rigged and stolen from him.
Cheney criticized Trump’s comments as inciting the protest at the Capitol, and took him to task for what she called his fairly weak call for protestors to leave the building and grounds.
“The president is abusing the trust of the American people and abusing the trust of the people who supported him,” she said. “We’ve never in our 245-year history had a president refuse to concede and leave office after the Electoral College had voted. There are serious questions about the President’s involvement and responsibility for what happened here today at the Capitol, and it cannot be tolerated.”
Cheney has in recent weeks taken several positions against Trump, including when she confirmed she would not contest the Electoral College votes that showed he lost the election.
This is in stark contrast to newly-elected U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, who has continued to praise the president into the new year. Lummis did contest some of the Electoral College votes during the Congressional session on Wednesday, but Biden was still confirmed as president-elect.
“This is what America is not,” Cheney said. “The mob will not prevail. What happened today can never happen in the United States, and the President needs to take responsibility for it.”