House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was caught on a hot mic Tuesday saying he has “lost confidence” in Representative Liz Cheney.
“I think she’s got real problems,” McCarthy told host Steve Doocy off-air just before a Fox and Friends interview, according to a tape obtained by Axios.
“I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence. … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place,” the California Republican commented.
McCarthy seemed to suggest to Doocy that Cheney, the House conference chair, could be ousted from her position by a vote from the chamber’s Republican members.
The House leader’s comments came moments before he said on-air that he’d heard from fellow Congressional Republicans who are “concerned” about Cheney’s ability to perform in her function as a party leader.
“There’s no concern about how she voted on impeachment. That decision has been made,” McCarthy said. “I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair to carry out the message.”
Cheney has already prevailed in the first conference vote to oust her from leadership. Representative Elise Stefanik has reportedly been contacting her Republican colleagues in the House to hold a second vote to push Cheney out as conference chair. Stefanik has expressed interest in the role to members, but doesn’t want to be perceived as challenging Cheney or scheming for her removal, according to Politico.
Asked about the intra-Republican spat during a Tuesday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested it was distracting Republicans from addressing the country’s challenges.
“The Republican party seems to be spending a lot of blood, sweat, and tears figuring out where they stand, and what they stand for, and that there’s prerogative. But our focus is on — and what we’re spending our time on — is defeating the pandemic, growing the economy, building on that for the long run,” Psaki said in response.