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Liz Cheney says House GOP leaders have 'enabled' white supremacy, antisemitism

Cheney’s comment came after Saturday's mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, where the suspect is said to have posted an online manifesto with racist theories.
Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., testifies before the House Rules Committee on April 4. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

WASHINGTON — Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on Monday accused House GOP leadership of enabling white supremacy and antisemitism, which she suggested has inspired people to act upon those threats, leading to dangerous consequences.

"The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. @GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them," Cheney said in a tweet.

Although she didn't identify the House Republican leaders by name, Cheney has called out and criticized GOP colleagues like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York for pushing divisive rhetoric stoked by former President Donald Trump. Stefanik replaced Cheney to lead the GOP conference after Cheney was ousted from that leadership role last year.

Cheney's comment came after a gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others in a shooting rampage in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday. Senior law enforcement officials said they believe the 18-year-old suspect wrote and shared a 180-age "manifesto" online that promoted the idea of the "great replacement theory," a far-right conspiracy theory about efforts to replace white people through immigration and interracial marriage. It's been used by others to attack minority groups like Jewish, Black and Hispanic people.

On Saturday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, the only other Republican on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot besides Cheney, tweeted, "@EliseStefanik pushes white replacement theory? The #3 in the house GOP. @Liz_Cheney got removed for demanding truth. @GOPLeader should be asked about this."

Kinzinger linked to an editorial last year in The Times Union of Albany, New York, that denounced the congresswoman, saying that she was pushing the "replacement theory" in campaign ads on Facebook.

One campaign ad said "Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION," according to The Washington Post. "Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington."

On Monday morning, her congressional campaign's senior adviser, Alex DeGrasse, released a statement shared on the congresswoman's Facebook page saying, "Any implication or attempt to blame the heinous shooting in Buffalo on the Congresswoman is a new disgusting low for the Left, their Never Trump allies, and the sycophant stenographers in the media. The shooting was an act of evil and the criminal should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"Despite sickening and false reporting, Congresswoman Stefanik has never advocated for any racist position or made a racist statement," he continued, adding that she opposes "mass amnesty for illegal immigrants" and giving them the right to vote.

Afterward, Stefanik posted on the same page, "Democrats desperately want wide open borders and mass amnesty for illegals allowing them to vote. Like the vast majority of Americans, Republicans want to secure our borders and protect election integrity."

CORRECTION (May 16, 2022, 10:10 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the state Cheney represents in the House. It is Wyoming, not Utah.