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Liz Cheney calls Elise Stefanik ‘a total crackpot’

Former Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has been shunned by former President Trump’s allies, called House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) a “total crackpot” in an online post Tuesday.

Cheney, who was a leader of the probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, posted a link to a statement Stefanik previously made condemning the mob that stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of President Biden’s election over Trump in 2020.

“One day she will have to explain how and why she morphed into a total crackpot,” Cheney wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “History, and our children, deserve to know.”

Stefanik replaced Cheney as the No. 4 in the House GOP leadership lineup after Cheney was ousted from the post for voting in favor of impeaching Trump over his alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack.

Trump threw his support to Cheney’s primary challenger in the 2022 midterm cycle, and Cheney lost the election.

Stefanik, once seen as a moderate in the House, is now believed to be a leading contender to become Trump’s running mate if he secures the GOP nomination. She’s been hitting the campaign trail in recent weeks and aggressively defending him from critics.

This week, she pushed back on reports that Trump, 77, seemingly mixed up former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is his only remaining rival for the Republican nomination, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a public event. He erroneously claimed Haley was in charge of Capitol security on Jan. 6 and that she had destroyed evidence from that day.

“The reality is Nikki Haley is relying on Democrats, just like Nancy Pelosi, to try to have a desperate showing,” Stefanik said while on the campaign trail for Trump this week and without directly addressing the apparent mix-up.

Cheney wrote in her book released in December that Stefanik was a “reasonable and thoughtful” lawmaker who has “undergone a dramatic transition into a Trump sycophant.”

Stefanik called Jan. 6, 2021, a “truly tragic day for America,” in the statement posted to her Congressional website that day. It remains online.

“I fully condemn the dangerous violence and destruction that occurred today at the United States Capitol,” she said in the statement. “Americans have a Constitutional right to protest and freedom of speech, but violence in any form is absolutely unacceptable and anti-American.

“The perpetrators of this un-American violence and destruction must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” she added.

A year later, on the anniversary of the attack, Stefanik posted a statement turning her attention to Pelosi and Capitol security.

“It is unacceptable that one year later the American people still do not have answers as to why the Capitol was left so vulnerable and how to ensure it never happens again,” she said in the statement.

During a Jan. 7 “Meet the Press” interview, Stefanik referred to prisoners who were arrested for their alleged roles in the breach as “hostages,” further echoing Trump’s comments.

Stefanik’s team dismissed Cheney’s latest criticism in a statement to The Hill.

“Liz Cheney’s only remaining relevance is that she will soon have to answer for her role in deleting and hiding evidence from the investigation into the sham January 6 Select Committee,” a spokesperson for Stefanik said.

Updated at 3pm EST.

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