Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney has said the GOP must stop being the “party of white supremacy”.
In comments all but certain to further stoke division among Republicans as the party battles over its future, the daughter of the former vice president Dick Cheney, said it was vital not to ignore the symbols of racism and extremism that were on open display during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
“It’s very important for us to ignore the temptation to look away,” she said.
“It’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.”
She added: “You saw the symbols of Holocaust denial, for example, at the Capitol that day; you saw the Confederate flag being carried through the rotunda, and I think we as Republicans in particular, have a duty and an obligation to stand against that, to stand against insurrection.”
The comments by the Wyoming congresswoman, who is the third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives, come more than six weeks after riots at the US Capitol, when hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump sought to halt members of both houses of Congress from ratifying the electoral college votes of Joe Biden.
They did so after Mr Trump held a rally that morning on the National Mall in Washington and urged supporters to “fight like hell”.
He was subsequently impeached by the House, but in the Senate Democrats fell ten votes short of the two-thirds majority they needed to convict him, and possibly prevent him from holding office again.