“We had four years where she could have stood up and said, ‘There’s a problem here. What Donald Trump is doing is wrong,'” Amash told CNN’s David Axelrod in an episode of “The Axe Files” podcast released Thursday.
During his time in office, Amash left the Republican Party in 2019 and became an independent as he argued that Trump had engaged in impeachable offenses.
Amash said Cheney never came to his aid during that time when he was speaking out against Trump.
“For a long time, I was warning that the president’s approach could lead to things like violence, could lead to a lot of animosity and contempt, and all sorts of things that would be harmful to our country. She didn’t stand up for that view,” he said.
Now, Cheney, a conservative who voted in line with Trump’s agenda nearly 93% of the time, finds herself an outlier in her party for voting to impeach Trump over the January 6 Capitol insurrection and refusing to embrace the former Republican President and his falsehoods about the 2020 election, resulting in her ouster from her party leadership position last week.
On “The Axe Files” podcast, Amash questioned why Cheney chose now to speak up about Trump after years of backing the former president during his first impeachment trial and the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“I say that not as someone who’s saying you can never change, you can never grow, you can never learn, but I’d like to see some real development when people learn. Like, what is it that changed your mind? Liz Cheney, what is it that you saw that made it so different for you versus how Trump was behaving, say, before January 6th? I mean, I don’t think there was any radical difference there. It was the same, what, because the outcome was different? Because that was the one time they stormed the Capitol?” he said.
He argued that “one of the biggest problems we have in politics is that when someone is inconsistent like that, where they’re doing the wrong thing for four years and then they flip on a dime, there’s a tendency to turn them into heroes. And I think that’s a huge problem because it lets people get away with things.”
“With that said, I also think we need to be careful, because you want to give people the room to learn and change,” he added.
Amash was a five-term GOP congressman from Michigan when he decided in 2019 to abandon the Republican Party after months of criticizing Trump and his Republican colleagues for not holding the president to account for the actions detailed in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the 2016 election.
He later voted with Democrats that year to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after a House investigation into allegations Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals while withholding US security assistance and a White House meeting. Having decided not to seek reelection in 2020, Amash retired from Congress at the end of his term.
A few days after Amash left Congress, Trump supporters, fueled by Trump’s lies that the election was stolen from him, stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to stop lawmakers from certifying Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election. Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection.” She continued to publicly reject Trump’s election lies, leading her House GOP colleagues last week to vote to remove the Wyoming Republican from
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