Trump Endorses New Primary Challenger To ‘Disloyal’ GOP Rep. Liz Cheney
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday endorsed Harriet Hageman, a former Republican National Committee member, in her newly-launched primary challenge against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the fifth time he’s endorsed against a GOP lawmaker who voted for his impeachment.
Trump, in a statement, blasted Cheney, one of his most ardent Republican critics in Congress, as “disloyal” and said she is “the Democrats [sic] number one provider of sound bites,” likely referring to Cheney’s many public denunciations of him.
Hageman’s bid, filed with the Federal Elections Commission just an hour before Trump put out his statement, appears built around the ex-president’s backing, often a decisive factor in GOP primaries where fealty to him tends to be a necessary ingredient for success.
Trump lauded Hageman as a “fourth-generation daughter of Wyoming, a very successful attorney,” and claimed she has the support of Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who has not yet issued a public endorsement.
Hageman, who placed third in the 2018 GOP primary for Wyoming governor, enters an already crowded primary field that includes State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, State Rep. Chuck Gray and former House candidate Darin Smith.
Cheney responded to Trump’s criticism on social media within minutes, tweeting a photo of his statement with the caption, “Here’s a sound bite for you: Bring it.”
Forbes has reached out to Lummis’ office for comment.
Trump has endorsed challengers to five of the 11 Republicans up for reelection in 2022 who voted for his impeachment or conviction for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol: Cheney, Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
“It is tragic that some in this race have sacrificed… principles, and their duty to the people of Wyoming, out of fear and in favor of loyalty to a former president who deliberately misled the American people about the 2020 election, provoked an attack on the U.S. Capitol, and failed to perform his duties as president as the violence ensued,” Cheney said in a statement.
“This is a “hot” race with some very interesting candidates running against her. Remember though, in the end we just want ONE CANDIDATE running against Cheney,” Trump said in July, announcing plans to meet with some of the candidates at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
77%. That’s the share of Wyoming Republican primary voters who said they won’t vote for Cheney’s reelection in a July poll from McLaughlin & Associates, Trump’s former pollster. The survey also found that Cheney narrowly prevails in a six-person race, with 23% of the vote to 17% for Gray and Bouchard and 7% for Smith.
As is the case with many in Wyoming’s political elite, Hageman was once a staunch Cheney ally. She donated $500 to Cheney’s unsuccessful Senate bid in 2014 and $1,500 to her victorious House bid in 2016. She was also an adviser to Cheney’s Senate campaign, according to Politico and the Washington Examiner.