RNC chair: 'Disagreement in our party is welcome' but GOP lawmakers on Jan. 6 panel 'step too far'

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel doubled down on her defense of the committee’s censure against Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), saying that “disagreement in our party is welcome” but the lawmakers' service on the House select panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was a “step too far.”

During an interview with McDaniel on Fox News, the network played several clips of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) comments from Tuesday criticizing the RNC’s censure.

“Traditionally, the view of the national party committees is that we support all members of our party, regardless of their positions on some issues,” McConnell said in one clip played. 

“The issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That's not the job of the RNC,” he said in another clip. 

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner asked McDaniel to respond to the Senate GOP leader’s comments.

McDaniel initially responded by placing blame on the media, which she said “really distorted some of the language in the center" and added, "Legitimate political discourse never includes violence.” She later said that she believed that the House select committee had “gone beyond its scope.”

“Disagreement in our party is welcome. It makes us great. We can have that — we have a big tent,” McDaniel said at one point. “But when you have two members who are willing to go with Nancy Pelosi, when the minority — when the Republican Party was not able to put people on that committee of their choosing, that's a step too far.”

“And that's where the RNC members who represent the grassroots came down on this issue,” she continued.

The resolution that the committee passed last week includes language that says Kinzinger and Cheney were involved in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” by participating in the Jan. 6 committee. 

Kinzinger and Cheney are the only two Republicans sitting on the select committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected two of the GOP's picks for the panel, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) yanked all of his selections in response.

In addition to their involvement in the House select committee, Kinzinger and Cheney were also censured for their previous criticism of former President Trump. 

The remarks from McDaniel come as some Republicans, including several senators who voted to impeach former President Trump last year, people previously affiliated with the RNC and McConnell have raised objections over the censure’s language describing the Jan. 6 riot as well as the act of rebuking two GOP lawmakers.

In an op-ed for the conservative news outlet Townhall published on Tuesday, McDaniel defended the censure, blaming the media’s “patently false coverage of the resolution.” 

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