EXCLUSIVE: McCarthy Explains Why He Hasn’t Kicked Out Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger From Republican Conference

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed Wednesday that Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger will not be attending the GOP’s annual retreat and explained why he has not kicked them out of the Republican conference in an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller.

McCarthy explained that he believes the best way to move forward with both Cheney and Kinzinger is to help people who are running for their seats. For example, McCarthy endorsed Cheney’s primary opponent, Harriet Hageman, in February and told the Caller that over 100 Republican members will be supporting Hageman at an event at the end of March.

The Republican leader also argued that Cheney simply has not been doing any work for the people of Wyoming. McCarthy also mentioned Kinzinger will not be running again and is just waiting out his time in Congress. He also made it clear that it is up to voters to decide who gets to come to Congress and that he and leadership get to focus on who stays in leadership.

“Your conference doesn’t determine whether you’re a Republican or Democrat. You get to determine that. And the way to go about it is exactly what I’m doing. I support Harriet in Wyoming. You’re going to find there’s going to be an event for Harriet next week. No one knows this. There’s more than 100 members that are co-sponsoring that,” McCarthy told the Caller.

“Part of the reason why Liz isn’t doing her work for Wyoming. She’s not on natural resources. She gave that up. That’s the number one committee for Wyoming, you know, and the voters gets to decide whether you get to come to Congress. We get to decide whether you’re going to be in leadership or not. Liz Cheney was not doing the role as conference chair. That’s why she was removed. She doesn’t come to conference. Adam’s not running again. We disagree with them,” he added.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (R) listens to House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) during a news conference following a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center February 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Cheney was removed from her leadership position by a voice vote in May of 2021. Behind closed doors, Republicans voted Cheney out as the third-ranking House Republican. (RELATED: ‘Need To Make A Change’: GOP Leader McCarthy Sends Letter To Republicans Saying There Will Be Vote To Replace Cheney)

“You want to defeat them in their election. Adam’s not running again. Liz I don’t believe is focusing on Wyoming. I don’t know of another leader who’s endorsed in a process like this before, and I think that’s where you solve the problem,” McCarthy continued. (RELATED: Kevin McCarthy Endorses Liz Cheney’s Primary Opponent)

Cheney, who is up for reelection in 2022, has continued to face criticism for voting in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump. The Wyoming Republican Party censured her in February over her impeachment vote.

Since impeachment, Cheney has continued to be vocal about her disdain of the former president.