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Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) called on House Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to "step down or be removed" after a heated conference meeting on Tuesday.

The backdrop: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus attacked Cheney, the most senior female Republican in the House, for breaking with President Trump on several occasions and supporting a primary opponent against Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Politico first reported and Axios can confirm.

What they're saying: "Liz Cheney has worked behind the scenes (and now in public) against @realDonaldTrump and his agenda," Gaetz tweeted. "House Republicans deserve better as our Conference Chair. Liz Cheney should step down or be removed. #MAGA"

  • Donald Trump Jr. quote-tweeted Gaetz and wrote: "We already have one Mitt Romney, we don’t need another... we also don’t need the endless wars she advocates for."

Behind the scenes: About five or six members of the House GOP conference are upset at Cheney, but the majority support how she has carried herself, a source familiar with the meeting told Axios' Alayna Treene.

  • Cheney spoke at the beginning of the meeting — before the blow-up — about the dangers of a Biden-Pelosi-Schumer regime, why they represent a threat to the country, and how everyone wants the same goal: To see Trump re-elected, take back the House, and keep the Senate.
  • Despite breaking with Trump a few times recently, including over reports of Russian bounties in Afghanistan, Cheney has voted with the president 97% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Go deeper

Pelosi clashes with CNN's Wolf Blitzer over stimulus, calls him a GOP "apologist"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday engaged in a heated exchange with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, calling the host "an apologist" for President Trump and Republicans on the issue of reaching a COVID-19 relief deal.

Why it matters: House Democrats and Senate Republicans remain at a standstill on key elements of a stimulus package. The Senate has largely been left out of the negotiating process between Pelosi and the White House.

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.