US House speaker Mike Johnson and his fellow Republicans who comprise a majority in the chamber cannot be trusted to protect the American constitution, former congresswoman Liz Cheney said Sunday.
Cheney made the comments on ABC’s This Week as she continued to warn of the dangers that a second Donald Trump presidency would present following the release of her book Oath and Honor: A Warning and a Memoir. In the book, she is deeply critical of Johnson, who played a key role in Trump’s legal strategy to contest the election and organized an amicus brief signed by 126 US House members urging the supreme court to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.
“I’ve expressed very clearly my view that having Mike Johnson as the speaker, having this Republican majority in charge, you can’t count on them to defend the constitution at this moment,” Cheney said.
The former Wyoming congresswoman, who once held the number three position in the House Republican conference, also declined to rule out a presidential bid in 2024. But she acknowledged that there were already third-party candidates who could fracture the vote. “Certainly I’m not gonna do something that has the impact of helping Donald Trump,” she said.
She also spoke about the need to take Trump’s blunt and public proclamations about how he would bring authoritarianism if he won a second term after his re-election run failed against Biden.
Trump’s allies have publicly said they would go after the media and prosecute political rivals if he returns to power. He has also described opponents as “vermin” in language that echoes Nazi rhetoric.
Trump escalated concerns this week when he made the absurd comment that he would only be a dictator for the first day of his presidency, a remark he defended on Saturday evening.
“I said I want to be a dictator for one day. You know why I wanted to be a dictator? Because I want a wall, and I want to drill, drill, drill,” he said at a gala in New York City.
The remarks referred in part to Trump’s first-term promises to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and to humiliate Mexicans by making them pay for it. They also alluded to his support of the oil and gas industry.
“I think we have to take everything that Donald Trump says literally and seriously,” Cheney said on ABC.