Mon. May 20th, 2024

Ex-Ford foundation member calls Liz Cheney ‘only person on this planet’ worthy of top award after snub he says was over Trump

By 37ci3 Apr12,2024

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly defended former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on Thursday after her resignation from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation refused to consider him for a Distinguished Public Service medal. The reason for the claims was the possibility of former President Donald Trump winning this year’s presidential elections.

In his letter of resignation from the foundation’s board as a trustee, Kennerly claimed that Cheney, a vocal opponent of Trump, repeatedly turned down the top prize out of fear of retaliation from Trump if he were re-elected.

“If the Gerald R. Ford Foundation doesn’t stand up to this real threat to our democracy, who will?” Kennerly wrote in his letter referring to a possible second term of Trump’s presidency.

In an interview on “Morning Joe” on Thursday, Kennerly said Cheney was one of the few people standing up to Trump, claiming he was “the only person on the planet who should win the foundation’s highest award.”

“They’re getting statements from the council about how they shouldn’t give him the award because it would jeopardize their tax status,” he said. “And that’s just going down the legal rabbit hole.”

Kennerley, who was Ford’s White House photographer, said he was concerned about Trump’s hold on the Republican Party and called Cheney a “shining light” who has faced death threats for refusing to engage in the former president’s baseless claims. stolen election.

“The foundation I have been working with for several decades does not follow him. Now they are making all these excuses,” he said.

Kennerly noted that while Cheney has not announced a presidential campaign, the foundation cited his past statements to say it could not give Cheney the top prize because it would threaten the group’s tax status. increases the probability of being a presidential candidate. He also noted that his father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who served as Ford’s chief of staff, received the award in 2004 when he was running for vice president. can lose their status,” Kennerly said.

Kennerly said the decision to reject Cheney for the top award was made by the executive committee of the foundation’s board, not the general council, of which he is a member. He said he “strongly recommended” Cheney for the award, but the committee rejected him because he had raised the possibility of a presidential run.

“They’re just small and timid, like a lot of people in the country,” he said. “And you should listen to Lisa [Cheney]. Huge crowds from across the country, Democrats and Republicans, gather to hear his message, which is to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office. That’s the only reward he wants, to see him put out to pasture.”

In a statement, the executive director of the fund Gleaves Whitney said the decision not to award Cheney was “not about him, but a reflection of the law governing nonprofit organizations.”

The group’s executive committee, “guided by legal counsel, has concluded that it is not prudent to award the 2024 Ford Medal to Liz Cheney,” the statement continued. “During the discussion of the award, it was made clear that Liz’s candidacy for the presidency was being actively considered. The executive committee, exercising its fiduciary responsibility, concluded that awarding the Lisa Ford Medal during the 2024 election cycle could be interpreted as making a political statement and thereby the Foundation It puts you at legal risk of losing your nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service.”

The statement also noted that Cheney sits on the foundation’s board of trustees, adding that he “meets all the criteria that the Ford Presidential Foundation Medal stands for — courage, integrity and a passion to serve the American people.”

“This year’s activity of the fund does not prevent it from seriously thinking about receiving the medal in the coming year,” he said.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement that Cheney and his associates were more interested in his personal rewards than the direction of this country.

Cheney has faced backlash within the Republican Party after coming out as a vocal critic of Trump amid the former president’s refusal to concede defeat to Joe Biden following the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack. He served as vice chairman of the House committee on Jan. 6 and was one of several Republicans He voted for Trump’s impeachment in 2021. He was ousted from the House GOP’s No. 3 leadership post and lost his bid for re-election in 2022 to Trump-backed primary challenger Harriet Hageman.

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By 37ci3

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