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Thu May 13, 2021, 11:10 AM

Sally Yates: I never thought that I'd be saying, 'Yeah, go Liz Cheney'

By Devan Cole, CNN

Updated 9:15 AM ET, Thu May 13, 2021

Washington (CNN) - Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates bemoaned House Republicans' decision to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post for challenging former President Donald Trump's lie that he won the 2020 presidential election, saying she never thought she'd cheer on the GOP congresswoman "for simply telling the truth."

"I never thought that I'd be saying, 'Yeah, go Liz Cheney.' But I am. And again, isn't it a sad commentary that we're cheering her on for simply telling the truth and for refusing to be silent when others are not?" Yates told CNN's David Axelrod on an episode of "The Axe Files" podcast released Thursday.

"She is being punished for telling the truth. And I certainly never thought our country would come to that," she added.

The comments from Yates, who was fired by Trump in the early days of his administration for refusing to defend a controversial immigration order from him, come a day after House Republicans voted to remove the Wyoming Republican from her position as chair of the House Republican Conference after publicly rejecting for months Trump's election lies.

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