McConnell praises Cheney, hits Marjorie Taylor Greene

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Courtesy: U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has praised embattled No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney as “a leader with deep convictions and courage,” even as he’s criticized the “looney lies” of a hard-right House GOP freshman as a “cancer” on the party.

Scores of conservative House Republicans are seeking to oust Cheney, R-Wyoming, from her leadership post after she supported the chamber’s impeachment of then-President Donald Trump.

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And Democrats are pushing to remove freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., from her committee assignments after reports of social media posts backing baseless assertions that some mass shootings at schools were staged. She’s also encouraged violence against Democratic politicians.

McConnell has all but broken with Trump following the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that led to five deaths. The Kentuckian is also still haunted by winnable Senate races that Republicans lost after nominating fringe candidates who lost their general elections.

McConnell’s strong words could put pressure on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who runs the fractious House GOP conference and will be influential in deciding how to handle Cheney and Greene. McCarthy has been more cautious in his dealings with both lawmakers.

McCarthy was expected to meet with Greene as early as Tuesday. House Republicans are expected to meet Wednesday, when hard-right GOP lawmakers could try forcing a vote to remove Cheney.

“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell said in a statement obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

McConnell did not explicitly call for keeping Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, in her No. 3 job. But he called her “an important leader in our party and in our nation” and said he looked forward to continuing to work with her.

On Monday, McConnell released a statement that said, “Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country. Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality.”

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!