Liz Cheney, the President, and the Civil Servant

The Story:

Liz Cheney, the congresswoman from Wyoming, is the chair of the House Republican Conference. Many of her colleagues want her to step down or be removed from that post, allegedly because she is at odds with President Trump, although the conflict is a good deal more complicated than that. In an important respect, Rep. Cheney has been siding with the President against critics in the House.


Liz Cheney has defended Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s chief expert on infectious disease, who has become prominent as the country has struggled with Covid-19.

Fauci has openly contradicted the President’s sometimes optimistic comments about the pandemic. Trump calls himself a “cheerleader” in this respect, Fauci has interrupted the cheers with science. This has earned Fauci enmity in the House, though the President repeatedly says that that he has a good relationship with Fauci.

 The Thing to Know:

Cheney has called Dr. Fauci “one of the finest public servants we have ever had” and says that the country needs “his expertise and his judgment to defeat this virus.” Perhaps the best general observation about the contretemps over Cheney may be this: Trump has an ambivalent relationship with Fauci. Cheney empathizes with the positive side of that ambivalence, but her foes in the Republican caucus empathize with the negative side of it.

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