CNN’s Chris Wallace put Indiana Republican Jim Banks on the hot seat on “Fox News Sunday,” pointedly asking whether moves to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from GOP leadership is because she lacks loyalty to Donald Trump.
Cheney has publicly condemned Trump for his claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, calling it “the big lie” on Twitter. This past week, plans were set in motion to remove Cheney from her spot as the No. 3 ranking member of the House Republicans, replacing her with New York Rep. Elise Stefanik.
Wallace noted to Banks that Stefanik’s voting record is less conservative than Cheney’s, having voted with Trump’s policies 78% of the time during his presidency compared to 93% for Cheney. “Is it just because of the fact that she’s not as loyal to Donald Trump?” Wallace asked Banks, referring to Cheney.
“Republicans are almost completely unified in a single mission to oppose the radical, dangerous Biden agenda and win back the majority in the midterm election,” Banks responded. “That’s our focus as a House Republican conference. And any leader who’s not focused on that … needs to be replaced.”
“And, at this point, the reason, Chris, that you and I are talking about Liz Cheney on this important program on Sunday morning is the exact evidence that she’s failed in her mission as the chief spokesperson of our party,” he added.
As with other Republicans that have appeared on “Fox News Sunday” since the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks, Wallace grilled Banks on whether he agreed with Trump about the legitimacy of the 2020 elections. “Is Joe Biden the legitimate president of the United States?” Wallace pressed.
“I’ve never said that the election was stolen,” Banks answered. “I’ve said I have very serious concerns with how the election was conducted last November because of COVID rules that loosened voter identification laws. That’s why I objected on Jan. 6. I’ll never apologize for that.”