June 13, 2024

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) ripped Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel for dodging questions Sunday about former President Trump’s “vermin” comments, which Cheney described as “Nazi propaganda.”

“When @GOPChairwoman refuses to condemn the GOP’s leading candidate for using the same Nazi propaganda that mobilized 1930s-40s Germany to evil, it’s fair to assume she’s collaborating,” Cheney wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “History will judge Ronna McDaniel and every republican who is appeasing this dangerous man.”

Trump is facing backlash over the language used on social media and in a speech marking Veterans Day in which he pledged to “root out” the “vermin” of the country.

“In honor of our great Veterans on Veteran’s Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our Country, lie, steal, and cheat on Elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America, and the American Dream,” Trump wrote in a post.

Pressed over the comments on multiple Sunday talk shows, McDaniel dodged reporters’ questions and said she would not comment on candidates and their messaging.

“I will say this, I know President Trump supports the veterans, our whole party supports our veterans. And I do think we’re at a very serious moment in our country,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University, told The Washington Post that “calling people ‘vermin’ was used effectively by [Adolf] Hitler and [Benito] Mussolini to dehumanize people and encourage their followers to engage in violence.”

During an MSNBC appearance Monday, presidential historian Jon Meacham linked Trump’s comments to the fascist dictators of the 1930s, saying “to call your opponent vermin, to dehumanize them, is to not only open the door, but to walk through the door toward the most ghastly kinds of crimes.”

In an earlier statement shared with The Hill, the Trump campaign railed against the criticism.

“Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their sad, miserable existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House,” it said.

Cheney, once a top-ranking Republican lawmaker, became one of the most outspoken GOP critics of the former president following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Since her departure from Congress last year, after losing her seat to Trump-backed challenger Rep. Harriet Hageman, Cheney has remained a critic of both the former president and his allies in the party.

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