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Trump joins GOP attacks on Rep. Liz Cheney

Trump’s tweets come after several House Republicans lashed out at Cheney, who chairs the GOP conference, during a closed-door meeting.
Image: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks during a news conference with other Republican members of the House of Representatives at the Capitol
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks during a news conference with other Republican members of the House of Representatives at the Capitol on July 21, 2020.Samuel Corum / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday joined in the attacks on Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., saying the third-ranking House leader is “only upset” because he has been trying to end U.S. involvement in wars overseas.

“Liz Cheney is only upset because I have been actively getting our great and beautiful Country out of the ridiculous and costly Endless Wars," the president tweeted. "I am also making our so-called allies pay tens of billions of dollars in delinquent military costs. They must, at least, treat us fairly!!!”

Moments later, he retweeted a pair of posts from earlier this week that were critical of Cheney, including one from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who said she should either resign as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference or be removed because she has questioned some Trump administration policies.

Trump's retweet also included a post from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who said, “We should all join @realDonaldTrump in advocating to stop our endless wars. Liz Cheney not only wants to stay forever, she’s leading the fight to try to stop him from leaving. Unacceptable.”

In response, Cheney said Thursday, "It's no secret the president and I disagree on some foreign policy issues."

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she added, her top priority is to “provide for the defense of the nation.”

The president's tweets Thursday come two days after several members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus as well as Gaetz, who is not a member of the caucus but is closely aligned with Trump, lashed out at her during a closed-door meeting with the House GOP Conference because of her public support for Dr. Anthony Fauci and for backing the primary opponent of Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who ultimately won the race in June.

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and the sole female member of the House GOP leadership, defended Fauci during the meeting amid criticism that the infectious disease expert has faced from Trump and other White House officials.

Cheney has differed with Trump on some issues, including supporting wearing masks to stop the spread of coronavirus and more hawkish views on foreign policy. After news broke about Russia potentially offering bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, she was much more forceful in her response than Trump, who dismissed the reports as fake news.

“I want to be absolutely clear that Americas adversaries should know and they should have no doubt that any targeting of U.S. forces by Russians, by anyone else, will face a very swift and deadly response,” Cheney said.