WASHINGTON, May 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday congressional GOP members were concerned about the ability of Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in January and whose anti-Trump stance remained firm, to carry out her job as House Republican conference chair.
Asked during the "Fox & Friends" program whether Republicans were unhappy about Cheney, the No.3 GOP member in the House, over her impeachment vote, McCarthy said the concern was not about her decision to impeach Trump, but rather her ability to fulfill her leadership duty carrying out the party's message as the 2022 midterm election nears.
"There's no concern about how she voted on impeachment. That decision has been made. I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair - to carry out the message," McCarthy said.
"We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given; they are earned. And that's about the message about going forward," he said.
McCarthy added that his caucus is more concerned with "what's our best step forward that we could all work together instead of attacking one another."
For her part, Cheney, congresswoman from Wyoming who was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on Jan. 13 for inciting a mob to breach the Capitol, showed no signs of backing down on her anti-Trump stance.
She said behind closed doors at a conference in Sea Island, Georgia, on Monday that the party cannot accept the "poison" of the idea that the 2020 election was stolen and should not "whitewash" the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- and Donald Trump's role in fomenting it.
"We can't embrace the notion the election is stolen. It's a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy," Cheney said. "We can't whitewash what happened on Jan. 6 or perpetuate Trump's big lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on Jan. 6 is a line that cannot be crossed."
A Cheney spokesperson said in response to McCarthy's remarks that the issue at center was "whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6."
"Liz will not do that. That is the issue," said Jeremy Adler, the spokesperson.
The latest intraparty saga came amid reports of Republicans circulating the idea of ousting Cheney from her leadership position, with The Hill citing one congressional GOP member as saying the circumstances are "at a boiling point."
In February, Cheney easily survived a vote by House Republicans on whether to remove her from the post.