Kevin McCarthy Leading 'Pro-Putin' Republicans Is 'Dangerous': Liz Cheney
Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, expressed her concerns on Sunday about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's political goals and his recent remarks about slowing aid to Ukraine.
McCarthy is hoping to become the next House Speaker if Republicans secure the House majority in next month's midterms, replacing current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat.
During an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked the GOP lawmaker: "You clearly think this is a mistake...you are concerned about his speakership, what specifically concerns you?"
"The speaker is second in line to presidency and at every moment, since frankly, the aftermath of the election in 2020, when Minority Leader McCarthy has had the opportunity to do the right thing or do something that serves his own political purpose, he always chooses to serve his own political purpose," Cheney responded. "That extends to what we've seen just in the last few days with these comments about aid to Ukraine."
Cheney added that the GOP could potentially no longer support Ukrainians in their fight against Russia's invasion in the wake of McCarthy's recent comments.
McCarthy, a California Republican, told Punchbowl News on Tuesday that the Republican Party will not write a "blank check" for Ukraine if they win back the House in November's midterms.
"I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they're not going to write a blank check to Ukraine," McCarthy said. "Ukraine is important, but at the same time it can't be the only thing they do, and it can't be a blank check."
Cheney on Sunday said that McCarthy could potentially lead some Republicans who have political aspirations that seem to be aligning with Russian President Vladimir Putin's interests.
"The notion that now Kevin McCarthy is going to make himself the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is just a stunning thing," she said. "It's dangerous, he knows better, but the fact that he is willing to go down the path of suggesting that America will no longer stand for freedom, I think tells you he's willing to sacrifice everything for his own political gain."
The congresswoman made similar remarks in March when she criticized retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, describing him as part of the "Putin wing of the GOP" after his remarks about Russian forces being initially "too gentle" in Ukraine. He also described Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a "puppet."
That same month, Cheney also criticized Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, over her comments about the U.S. response to Ukraine.
Greene said that Ukraine and Russia have violated peace agreements when it comes to the conflict. In response, Cheney said that Greene was touting Putin's propaganda.
"Putin is targeting and slaughtering civilians in a brutal unprovoked war against Ukraine, a sovereign democratic nation," Cheney tweeted at the time. "Only the Kremlin and their useful idiots would call that 'a conflict in which peace agreements have been violated by both sides.'"
Reiterating her support for Ukraine, Cheney said this week that the U.S. must make sure it is "doing everything necessary" to support Ukrainians in their battle against Russia.
"I don't know that I can say I was surprised, but I think it's really disgraceful that Minority Leader McCarthy suggested that if the Republicans get the majority back that we will not continue to provide support for the Ukrainians," she added.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed on Friday that the GOP will continue aiding Ukraine as it is in America's best interest as it sends a message to Russia and China that they can't "simply gobble up smaller neighbors."
He also said that a GOP majority in the Senate "will focus its oversight on ensuring timely delivery of needed weapons and greater allied assistance to Ukraine, rebuilding and modernizing our military capabilities, standing up to terrorist states like Iran, and shoring up our defenses in Asia to deter Chinese aggression."
Newsweek reached out to McCarthy's office for comment.