Donald Trump Jr. pans Liz Cheney amid GOP criticism: ‘We don’t need another’ Mitt Romney

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, on Tuesday appeared to liken the House GOP Conference chairwoman to one of his father’s biggest opponents in the Republican Party.

His comments came amid news that House conservatives criticized Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., for appearing to oppose President Trump on issues surrounding the coronavirus response.

“We already have one Mitt Romney, we don’t need another… we also don’t need the endless wars she advocates for,” Trump Jr. said, referring to the Utah Republican senator.

When asked for a response, Cheney’s office pointed Fox News to her comments at a press conference Tuesday. “Well, Donald Trump Jr. is not a member of the House Republican Conference,” Cheney said, smiling. She went on to tell reporters that she took her position in leadership “very seriously,” and said that, unlike Democrats, the Republican conference can have a “healthy exchange of views.”

Trump Jr. linked to a post from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who accused Cheney of covertly attempting to undermine Trump. “Liz Cheney has worked behind the scenes (and now in public) against @realDonaldTrump and his agenda. House Republicans deserve better as our Conference Chair. Liz Cheney should step down or be removed,” he said.

Romney famously voted to convict President Trump during the Senate’s impeachment trial this year. That, along with a number of other criticisms, landed him in hot water with conservatives — so much so that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) announced that Romney was “NOT invited” to its event earlier this year.

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a frequent critic of Cheney and her family, piled onto the criticism Tuesday.

“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,” he said.

Although Trump hadn’t responded via Twitter, he has vehemently attacked the Iraq War, which was spearheaded by her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

It’s unclear what behind-the-scenes actions Gaetz was referring to in his tweet. However, Liz Cheney has both defended and criticized Trump in public. According to FiveThirtyEight, she has voted in line with Trump’s positions 97 percent of the time.

She also previously attacked Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, calling the effort a “sham” and a waste of time. In recent weeks, though, Liz Cheney has criticized Trump’s attacks on MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and seemed to knock the president’s position on masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

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She also recently called on the White House to explain itself amid concerns it didn’t respond appropriately to intelligence about alleged Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers’ heads.

On her Twitter feed, she also features a tweet defending Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration official who has been perceived as an undermining influence in President Trump’s coronavirus messaging.

“Dr. Fauci is one of the finest public servants we have ever had,” she wrote. “He is not a partisan [sic]. His only interest is saving lives. We need his expertise and his judgment to defeat this virus. All Americans should be thanking him. Every day.”

According to Politico, Liz Cheney responded to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, after he confronted her during a GOP conference meeting on Tuesday.

“I look forward to hearing your comments about being a team player when we’re back in the majority,” she said. Liz Cheney also disagreed with Jordan’s assessment of her recent behavior. After Tuesday’s meeting, she told reporters that the conference talked about the threat posed by a Joe Biden presidency. She reportedly declined to answer questions but said: “We’re all unified.”

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“We had an exchange of views, I think it’s very clear we’re all unified in the sense of recognizing the danger the country would face if Joe Biden were elected president; we talked at length about Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and the kind of America we would be living in if they prevailed,” she said, according to NBC. Liz Cheney also reportedly took a shot at Gaetz during their meeting, sayings she looked forward to seeing him in a new HBO documentary titled “The Swamp.”

In June, Politico reported on praise Liz Cheney had received from Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and John Shimkus, R-Ill. “She’s got values, she’s got guts, and she says what’s on her mind. That resonates with a lot of people,” Shimkus said at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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