Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Blasts Biden’s ‘Minor Incursion’ Remark: ‘Complete Incompetence’

Listen To The Full Interview Below:

Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) joined the Guy Benson Show to react to President Biden’s Russia-Ukraine remarks that caused the White House to clarify the President’s comments.

Rep. Cheney reacted to Biden’s ‘minor incursion’ remark saying,

Guy, it is — it is complete strategic incompetence, just complete. You know, and it’s incredibly damaging. The president of the United States is not — you know, an MSNBC analyst. The president of the United States has to lead. The president of the United States needs to make clear in no uncertain terms that if Putin takes a step that threatens the sovereignty of Ukraine, if Putin invades that he will be met with swift and overwhelming force and response. And that is what deterrence is all about. When the president of the United States stands on live television and contemplates — you know, well, it might be a minor incursion, that — it’s just — it’s just complete incompetence.

FULL Transcript:

GUY BENSON, FOX RADIO HOST: Joining us now is Congresswoman Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming. And Congresswoman, good to have you back on the show.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): It’s great to be back with you. Thanks, Guy.

BENSON: So we were both watching, I would imagine, as the president gave his two-hour press conference yesterday. He was asked a few different questions about the situation developing in Ukraine and the amassing of Russian troops on the border. And there were a few things that the president said out loud that were quite surprising to people. In cut 18, he sort of plays the role of pundit here, musing about what Putin might do.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: I’m not so sure he has — is certain what he’s going to do. My guess as he will move in. He has to do something. And by the way, I have indicated to him — the two things he said to me that he wants guarantees of, one is Ukraine will never be part of NATO and, two, that NATO or the — there will not be strategic weapons stationed in Ukraine.


BENSON: And he says that he’s pushed back on those things against Putin. But there was the president saying well you know, my guess is he’ll probably go in — I guess there’s been an intelligence, rather, assessment to that effect. But it kind of seemed like he was shooting from the hip there, the president. He then went on, Congresswoman, to talk about the lack of unity behind the scenes, really, of NATO, suggesting that there is not a united front that is at least being portrayed publicly for the benefit, for example, of the Russians. Biden was saying, well, we’re not really there yet on unity. And then he said this in cut 19.


BIDEN: And so I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera. But if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the force amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine.


BENSON: So very bad things coming for Russia if they invade. But it kind of depends on the nature of the invasion. If it’s just a minor incursion, well, that might not be exactly bad enough to get everyone in line to do the harsh punishments that he’s been talking about and the West has now been threatening for weeks, and weeks, and weeks. This word, this — you know, minor incursion phrase landed like a lightning bolt. Like it’s — you know, a thunderbolt. And Kyiv and Ukraine, immediately their government was putting out statements, talking to reporters — they were shocked that Biden said that. The president of Ukraine put out a statement saying there’s no such thing as a minor incursion — or like minor loss of life in our sovereign territory. I just wonder, Congresswoman, how you felt when you heard the president saying the things that we’ve just played back for you.

CHENEY: Well, Guy, it is — it is complete strategic incompetence, just complete. You know, and it’s incredibly damaging. The president of the United States is not — you know, an MSNBC analyst. The president of the United States has to lead. The president of the United States needs to make clear in no uncertain terms that if Putin takes a step that threatens the sovereignty of Ukraine, if Putin invades that he will be met with swift and overwhelming force and response. And that is what deterrence is all about. When the president of the United States stands on live television and contemplates — you know, well, it might be a minor incursion, that — it’s just — it’s just complete incompetence. And the reason it’s dangerous is because it leads to miscalculation, because it leads to our adversaries thinking, you know, well, if the president of the United States is not willing to stand up for our allies and is not willing to play the role that the United States must play globally to ensure the defense of freedom, to ensure territorial sovereignty, to ensure that we keep our commitments, then our adversaries will miscalculate. And our allies will think they can’t count on us. And so, I just — you know, was certainly one of those moments where the president really absolutely failed to do what a president of the United States needs to do in the circumstances that we’re currently facing.

BENSON: Yes, the president of the United States — any president of the United States is arguably the number one shaper of events in the world and not some bystander saying, oh gosh — you know, if I had to guess, he’ll probably do this. And it kind of depends on whether it’s a major incursion or minor incursion. We don’t really have our house in order over with NATO, so let’s just see what he does. I mean, you say that Putin could maybe miscalculate. I guess maybe this is my cynical side, would it be a miscalculation to assume that this would be met with weakness? Or would that just be perhaps the correct calculation that Biden has just, sort of, let out — let out of the bag?

CHENEY: Look, I think that this is — this — the (ph) American foreign policy has been completely mismanaged. And I think partly what we’re seeing is the result of the Biden administration’s catastrophic decision in Afghanistan. We are seeing, you know, globally an assessment that’s being made that you can’t count on the United States. And your point is exactly right. And I think this notion of, you know, the American President thinking that he’s a bystander — we have that problem across board. You know we’re living in a moment where our nation faces serious crises and serious challenges — you know, from a national security perspective, from a domestic perspective, from a constitutional perspective. And we have a lot of elected officials across the board in both parties right now who think they’re bystanders. Who seem not to recognize and understand the seriousness of these issues, not to understand that they’ve got an obligation and a duty to lead. And certainly the president of the United States is foremost among those who must be absolutely clear. You know, America’s security, America’s freedom depends upon American strength and power and leadership globally. And we cannot afford a situation where America suddenly decides that, you know, adversaries with a show of force are going to be able to set the rules of the road or the world going forward.


CHENEY: That’s not a world in which we can be secure.

BENSON: The trust of Biden’s campaign in 2020 on the foreign policy side, his thrust here, you know, on the domestic side was I’m going to crush the virus, and I’ll be more uniting and less dramatic than the last guy — not going well. On foreign policy, he basically said we need a president who can make sure that our allies know that we have their back again and that our adversaries won’t feel like we’re sucking up to them. That was, you know, I’m paraphrasing. That’s basically what he said. That is also going very terribly for the reasons that you’ve just laid out, in Afghanistan, now potentially in Ukraine. And I know that there’s some reporting that that is now more concretely assessed at the belief of the U.S. government and Intelligence Community is that Putin does plan to move forward with some sort of an incursion here, some sort of an invasion into Ukraine. Last question on this subject though, Congresswoman. There’s a school of thought — a lot of Americans across the spectrum might ask the question: why should we care about Russia and Ukraine? Why? And it’s not really our fight. We like to be on the side of freedom. And you know, I guess we’re sort of with Ukraine. But why should we bother to get all whipped up over potentially, sort of, a regional struggle far away?

CHENEY: Because it matters to the United States, it matters to our freedom, and it matters to our security that — that we lead in the world. And when we’ve made commitments, when we have someone like Putin, who’s attempting to bully us; who’s attempting to force us to end our policy of accepting new members into NATO. Who’s attempting to force us to walk away from commitments that we’ve made to NATO members, from commitments that we made to Ukraine. Who’s attempting to use force in order to redraw the map of Europe and to have his way both — you know, through military force, through economic blackmail, through cyber attacks or a whole range of actions — bad actions. You know, those who believe that the United States of America can simply withdrawal from the world and can simply sit back and — in isolationism — hope for the best are badly mistaken. And it’s a lesson that we have learned throughout history. And the reality in the current situation is that — that the Biden administration has completely misunderstood, and miscalculated, and failed to conduct any kind of effective deterrence.


CHENEY: You know, the bottom line here is deterrence. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are compelled to use force. But you — your adversaries need to understand that you have the capability and the will to defend your interest and your allies.

BENSON: Right. You kind of welcome malign actors to do things based on the perception — perhaps the earned perception — of weakness. And when there is a vacuum on the global stage, if the U.S. recedes, someone else is going to fill it. Increasingly, that someone is China. And I would imagine most Americans would agree that would not be a good thing for the world, for China to become even more powerful and control more things than they already do. When we just played those sound bites, Congresswoman, for you from the president yesterday about Russia, he was talking about the minor incursion quote. That got a lot of attention. He said it sort of depends on what Putin does. Another time he used that word yesterday, he was asked about the legitimacy of American elections moving forward. He’s obviously angry and frustrated that the Democrats power-grabbed (ph) — federalize the elections and do all this stuff — get rid of voter ID, all of that. It didn’t pass. It was killed, fortunately, in the Senate last night. But he was asked, will the 2022 elections and beyond be legitimate, free, fair in the United States, even if your preferred — you know, Democratic scheme doesn’t become law? And he said, it depends. He wouldn’t commit to that. He was asked about it again. He, sort of, doubled-down, saying there were a lot of ways he could definitely see it be a — be an illegitimate election in 2022. The vice president was asked about this earlier today on NBC News. She wouldn’t answer the question. She would not simply say yes, we will have legitimate free and fair elections in this country. She was doing the same game. Sort of like this, well, would hate to see what happens with our elections if we don’t get our way and the Democrats don’t get this bill passed — which, of course, is precisely what happened last night. It went down in flames. Jim Clyburn, a ranking member in the opposition party in your chamber, the House of Representatives, he was asked about this as well on CNN earlier. Cut 52. Listen.


KASIE HUNT, MSNBC HOST: Do you agree with what he said in that press conference? Are you concerned that, without these voting rights bills, the election results won’t be legitimate?

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): I’m absolutely concerned about that.


BENSON: He’s absolutely concerned about that. So we’ve got the president, the vice president and one of the leading Democrats in Congress sort of feeding into this big lie type of preemptive conspiracy about the elections in 2022 and beyond. This is the party, as you well know, that’s been talking about how dangerous this type of thing is in a different context, when the shoe is on the other foot.
Now, it seems like they’re leaning into this, even though the White House and Psaki is trying to pretend, oh, it’s not what he meant. We all heard it. He said it twice. What was your reaction watching that play out and watching this incoherent response from the Democrats at least flirting with this stuff openly?

CHENEY: It is — it’s utterly irresponsible and they ought to stop it. You know, we — we have a situation where America’s adversaries have attempted to delegitimize our elections process. You know, the Chinese government, for example, makes claims that Democracy can’t work, it can’t function, it can’t reflect the will of the people. We have all certainly watched what happened over the course of the last year, when former President Trump made claims that the election was stolen, made false claims of election fraud, inspired people — incited people to violence on the basis of those claims. And the president of the United States and elected officials have a responsibility to affirm public trust in our elections. Elected officials in both parties have a responsibility to do that. We can work together to find ways to ensure that our elections are as free and fair as possible. Certainly, there are ways to improve our election process. There are ways that we can do that on a bipartisan basis. But the notion that any elected official would be questioning whether or not the 2022 election outcome is going to be fair, that would be attempting to delegitimize those elections, is acting in a highly irresponsible manner that is, again, dangerous to our democratic system. And they ought to all stop it. And we ought to come together and say what do we need to do to make sure January 6th —

BENSON: Well —

CHENEY: — never happens again. And how do we do — how do we find reforms that we can agree on, on a bipartisan basis that do not do what the Democrat’s reforms have tried to do, which is federalize our election process. We’ve got to respect state’s rights. We’ve got respect the Constitution. We need it every moment to make sure we’re doing things like, we ought to be protecting poll watchers. We ought to be making sure people aren’t subject to pressure. I believe we ought to have voter ID. I believe that we ought to look at what we can do to reform the Electoral Count Act. There are important reforms that can be made —


BENSON: Well — and yet (ph) —

CHENEY: But they need to be made responsibly.

BENSON: Yes, and that point is well taken. The problem with the democratic approach from the president on down is they have locked you guys, the Republicans, completely out of the process. It’s those — it’s a totally slanted power grab that the Democrats have just filled (ph) with, like, a Christmas tree of left-wing stuff. It’s almost like comical. It’s like a caricature of what they might try to do. But they really did, they tried to ram it through, a total rewrite of the system on party lines. Biden admitted — the president admitted that he didn’t reach out to any Republicans on this issue — on the actual working together. It seemed like that was not the priority. What they wanted was a partisan power grab. Last word to you on that point, Congresswoman.

CHENEY: Look, and if you look at what’s happening in the Senate, you actually do have Democrats and Republicans who would like to work together, in the House as well. But in the Senate, you know, Leader Schumer won’t advance those reforms that there could be bipartisan agreement on. Instead they’re putting forward these massive bills that resemble H.R. 1 that the Democrats passed in the House that present fundamental, I believe, Constitutional — constitutionally questionable reforms that, at the end of the day, they pass on a partisan basis because, in my view, they federalized elections, they take power away from the states, they give authority to a Federal Election Commission —



CHENEY — that was no longer on the ballot —

BENSON: — the White House did not reach out to you on this working together stuff —


BENSON: They did not?

CHENEY: They have not. They have not.

BENSON: All right, we’ll leave it there. Congresswoman Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, our guest here on “The Guy Benson Show.” Congresswoman, we really appreciate it. Thank you.

CHENEY: Thanks for having me, Guy. Great to be with you, always.

BENSON: Of course. And we will step aside and come right back on “The Guy Benson Show.”