'Orange Jesus' and a note from George W. Bush: 5 takeaways from Republican Liz Cheney's book

Former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is one of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics. But she has few kind words for other prominent Republicans in her new book.

Cheney was a major figure in the GOP during her three terms in the House, serving as chair of the House Republican Conference for two years. She also served as the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 Committee, which investigated the Capitol attack at the end of Trump’s term in the White House.

In her book “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning,” released Tuesday, Cheney criticizes Trump and targets House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other Republicans who have stood by the former president.

However, excerpts from her book obtained by multiple outlets show she also received some praise from both Democrats and Republicans.

Here are 5 top takeaways from Cheney’s memoir.

Kevin McCarthy, Donald Trump and the 2020 election

Cheney said she was in touch with McCarthy in the days after the 2020 race for the White House, according to a copy of her book obtained by CNN. The then-Wyoming lawmaker claimed that McCarthy said Trump acknowledged he lost the election to now-President Joe Biden.

Publicly, the former president has falsely claimed that the election was stolen from him.

“He knows it’s over,” McCarthy said, according to a section of the book from by CNN. “He needs to go through all the stages of grief.”

Cheney also criticized McCarthy in her book for visiting Trump at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The former House speaker told Cheney after she questioned him about the trip that Trump’s aides were “really worried” about him, and Trump wasn’t eating at the time, according to CNN.

Trump in a Monday post on his platform Truth Social denied Cheney’s claims.

‘We just need to do this one last thing for Trump’

Cheney in her book also took aim at other Republican lawmakers for their response to the 2020 election, including their questioning of the legitimacy of the race.

Cheney claimed House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, at the time dismissed legal proceedings surrounding the election, alleging that he “didn’t seem to think the rules mattered,” CNN reported. Cheney alleged the Ohio Republican also believed “The only thing that matters is winning.”

Russell Dye, a spokesperson for Jordan, told the outlet he was “always concerned about the legal process for the 2020 election.”

Cheney in the book also knocked Johnson, who did not vote to certify the results of the 2020 election.

“When I confronted him with the flaws in his legal arguments,” Cheney wrote, “Johnson would often concede, or say something to the effect of, ‘We just need to do this one last thing for Trump.’”

The former Wyoming lawmaker also said, as Republican lawmakers were encouraged to sign their names to electoral vote objection sheets, Tennessee GOP Rep. Mark Green said, “‘The things we do for the Orange Jesus,” in an apparent reference to Trump. Green’s office denied to CNN that he made the comment.

'Defend the Republic'

In an excerpt from Cheney’s book obtained by Axios, the former lawmaker described visiting her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, on New Year’s Day in 2021. As she left her parents’ home, her father told her “Defend the Republic, daughter.”

Dick Cheney has often been critical of the former president. Last year, he called Trump a threat to the nation’s future.

“In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our Republic than Donald Trump," the former vice president said in an ad for Liz Cheney.

He also called Trump “a coward” in the ad, saying "a real man wouldn't lie to his supporters."

George W. Bush lauded Cheney for impeachment vote

Cheney in January 2021 was one of just a handful Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. Cheney in her book revealed that former President George W. Bush sent her a private message after her vote, according to CNN.

“Liz, Courage is in short supply these days. Thank you for yours. You showed strong leadership and I’m not surprised. Lead on. 43," Bush wrote, Cheney said.

While Bush, whose vice president was Dick Cheney, has been hesitant to criticize Trump in public, he did donate to Cheney and Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s reelection campaigns in 2021. Murkowski also voted to remove Trump from office after the Capitol insurrection.

Cheney lost her House seat to Harriet Hageman, a Republican endorsed by Trump.

An unexpected alliance with Nancy Pelosi

Cheney and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., don’t have much in common on paper, but the two leaders formed a bond near the end of Trump’s term in office, Cheney wrote in her book, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times.

Pelosi named Cheney to the special committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack. But the former lawmaker said she learned later that Pelosi’s staff had compiled a list of harsh comments Cheney previously made about the California Democrat.

Pelosi, in response, told her staff “Why are you wasting my time with things that don’t matter?” Cheney wrote, according to the Times.

“We may have disagreed on pretty much everything else,” Cheney wrote, the outlet reported, “but Nancy Pelosi and I saw eye to eye on one thing that mattered more than any other: the defense of our Constitution and the preservation of our republic.”

Contributing: David Jackson, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Liz Cheney hits Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy in book: 5 takeaways