Alec Baldwin said he felt Representative Liz Cheney was a “great hero” and compared her to jailed Russian activist and opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday, hours before Wyoming Republicans ousted her from her House seat.
Cheney was defeated by her GOP opponent Harriet Hageman, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and will not return for a fourth congressional term next year.
Cheney, Trump’s harshest critic in the Republican Party, made it clear in her concession speech from Jackson, Wyoming, that she would not back down from her denouncements of the former president and urged Americans to unite against Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In a video message captioned Liz Cheney is a bipartisan hero shared on Instagram in the hours prior to Cheney’s defeat, devout Democrat Baldwin shared his take on the matter.
“I’m in my car and I wanted to leave a quickie here to congratulate Liz Cheney,” the politically-outspoken actor said as he drove. “I never thought I would say that, and I’m sure that Liz Cheney couldn’t care less about me congratulating her.
“But I’m very proud of Liz Cheney today, because of the circumstances under which she is likely to lose the primary in Wyoming for her congressional seat. This thought on my part was prompted by the movie Navalny.”
The film focuses on Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leader and prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin.
Navalny, who started the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in 2011, was jailed for two and a half years for parole violations in February 2021.
In March of this year, he was convicted of fraud charges and sentenced to nine years in a maximum security jail. Navalny tweeted in May that he faces new charges that could keep him imprisoned for 15 more years.
Baldwin said that after the film was screened at a film festival last month, he and a small group of those involved in the project went out to dinner, where the question was posed over who they saw as the American version of Navalny.
“Although I’m sure that Liz Cheney would bristle at this comparison, in no other way perhaps obviously other than politically, Liz Cheney reminds me of Navalny,” Baldwin said, “because in the film, and then later on we put a finer point on this on [my] podcast, we talked about how Navalny says that he can’t direct his supporters from a hotel in Paris.
“He can’t be living outside of Russia and encouraging people to carry on this fight of his. That wouldn’t be acceptable to him. He had to be in Russia and shoulder-to-shoulder, if you will, with his comrades. And so he knew he was gonna be arrested, that there would be some very strong likelihood of that. And so he goes back to Russia and is arrested and sentenced… But in his mind, he did what he had to do.”
“Liz Cheney did what she had to do,” Baldwin went on. “She knew that morally she had to risk it all—she had to risk it all in terms of her political career as a Republican to tell the truth about Trump and January 6th and so forth.
“And if that meant falling on her sword politically, at least as far as elected politics in Wyoming is concerned, then she would do that—and she did.”
In the video, a clip of which can be viewed at the top of this article, Baldwin said of Cheney that “it looks like she’s gonna get defeated pretty handily,” adding: “But she emerges from that event today as a hero, as a great hero politically. She’s a great hero.”
“My politics were the opposite of her father [former Vice President Dick Cheney],” Baldwin continued. “Her father represented everything I couldn’t stand about Republican politics.
“But that doesn’t matter today. What matters today is what I said at this dinner a couple of weeks ago: ‘Where is the American Nalavny?’ And by that I mean, where was the person who would risk it all for their principles? I mean how many people, Democrat or Republican, would even do that?”
“Most of these people who walk the halls of Congress, the Senate or the House are people who… there’s a level of influence and power and so forth that they would never have otherwise,” Baldwin said. “Elected politics was their only means of accomplishing this, of becoming who they wanted to become. There are next to none in that world that would do what Cheney has done, to risk her entire political equity for this, to stand up for that principle. It’s something that is just so rare.”
So my congratulations to Liz Cheney, and I’m sorry that she’s gonna lose her position as a result of this, to lose it this way because she was so courageous,” Baldwin continued. “You find little of that courage in the Democratic party and none of it in the Republican party. This fealty to Trump is so dangerous for the country. But congratulations to Liz Cheney today. It’s very brave what you’ve done. Very brave, very commendable. And you’re a great American for doing that. Thank you.”
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