Former President Donald Trump is reportedly ready to endorse a primary challenger against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), his most prominent Republican critic in the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to Politico and the Associated Press, Trump will endorse attorney Harriet Hageman against Cheney, anonymous sources familiar with his decision said. His support may unite Republican opposition to Cheney behind one challenger, increasing the chances that Hageman emerges victorious from the field of at least 8 candidates vying to defeat Cheney for the GOP nomination for Wyoming’s at-large Congressional District.
Cheney, formerly the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, drew Trump’s ire and the GOP base’s fury by voting to impeach the former president over his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. In the aftermath of her vote, House Republicans voted to remove Cheney from GOP leadership for being insufficiently supportive of Trump and for criticizing his unproven claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. She has never apologized for her vote nor has she stopped voicing strong opposition to Trump.
In July, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appointed Cheney to serve on the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, a role which Cheney accepted against the wishes of Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Trump has called Cheney a “loser RINO,” vowing to support a candidate to defeat her in the Republican primary. He reportedly met with several candidates running against Cheney or exploring the option to do so before settling on Hageman.
“He interviewed a lot of people, and when it was done, it was clear she’s in a class of her own,” said one Republican familiar with Trump’s selection process.
Hageman stepped down as the Wyoming GOP’s national committeewoman Tuesday in preparation for her run against Cheney. In her resignation letter, she praised state party officials for voting to censure Cheney over the impeachment vote.
“By censuring Rep. Liz Cheney we sent the strong message that we expect our elected officials to respect the views and values of the people who elected them. Accountability is key and I am proud of our party for demanding it,” Hageman wrote.
Trump’s expected endorsement of Hageman would be the latest in a spate of endorsements he’s made against incumbent Republican lawmakers seen as insufficiently supportive of the former president. Trump on Tuesday endorsed Michigan state lawmaker Steve Carra in his bid to unseat longtime incumbent Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who also voted for impeachment. A week before, Trump endorsed challengers to Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), two more Republicans who voted for impeachment.