Former President George W. Bush donated to the primary campaigns of two Republicans being targeted by former President Donald Trump, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Mr. Bush donated to Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska during the last three months of 2020.
Mr. Bush maxed out to Ms. Cheney, the daughter of his one-time Vice President Dick Cheney, with two separate donations totaling $5,800 last October. The donations came the same month that Mr. Bush held a ritzy fundraiser for Mrs. Cheney in Texas.
Mr. Bush similarly donated $2,900 to Ms. Murkowski’s reelection campaign.
The donations come as Ms. Cheney and Ms. Murkowski are facing spirited primary challenges because of their opposition to Mr. Trump. Both lawmakers voted to convict Mr. Trump during his second impeachment in 2021 for allegedly provoking a riot in the U.S. Capitol.
“Saving America starts by saving the GOP from RINOs, sellouts and known losers,” Mr. Trump said recently when urging support for primary challenges against the lawmakers, using an acronym for “Republicans in name only.”
The donations are the latest signal of Mr. Bush’s displeasure with the course of the GOP under Mr. Trump. Mr. Bush has publicly lambasted Mr. Trump for his “America First” agenda. He has also publicly stated that he did not vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 and 2020.
Neither Mr. Bush’s office nor representatives for Ms. Cheney and Ms. Murkowski responded to requests for comment.
Mr. Bush’s donations helped the two lawmakers out-raise their primary opponents in the last three months of 2020.
Ms. Cheney pulled in nearly $2 million during the period, bringing her overall fundraising for the year to $6.5 million. She currently has more than $4.7 million cash on hand for the August primary.
Harriet Hageman, Mr. Trump’s choice to take on Ms. Cheney, raised $443,000 during the same time frame. Mrs. Haegman currently has $745,000 on hand.
Similarly, Ms. Murkowski raised $1.2 million in the last three months of 2021, boosting her haul for the entire year to $5.4 million. She currently has $4.2 million on hand.
Kelly Tshibaka, a former Alaska administration commissioner who is backed by Mr. Trump, raised more than $600,000 in the final quarter of 2021. Her campaign currently has $634,000 cash on hand.