Former President Donald Trump sought to drive a wedge between Rep. Liz Cheney and Wyoming voters calling the GOP incumbent a Democrat “lapdog” ahead of the state’s August primary.
The Trump-Cheney feud reached its boiling point as the former president touched down in Wyoming for a rally Saturday to drum up support for Harriet Hageman, his pick to oust Ms. Cheney ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
“Wyoming thought you were electing a conservative warrior, but instead you got a lapdog for [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi,” Mr. Trump told the crowd Saturday.
“Liz Cheney hates the voters of Wyoming,” he said. “Wyoming deserves a congresswoman who stands up for you and your allies, not one who spends all of her time putting you down after going after your president in the most vicious way possible.”
Ms. Cheney was one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Mr. Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and was hand-picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California to serve as vice-chair of the Democrat-led House panel to investigate the attack.
Last May, House Republicans voted to remove Ms. Cheney from the No. 3 post among House GOP conference leadership, saying her loud opposition to Mr. Trump, who continues to wield immense influence within the party, had become a distraction for the conference.
Mr. Trump has thrown his weight around ahead of the primaries, backing “MAGA Republicans” in states across the country calling for a red wave to turn the tide in the Democrat-controlled house.
He has hit the road in recent weeks to garner support for Trump-endorsed candidates throughout the country and blasted Democrats at every turn over skyrocketing inflation and immigration.
But Mr. Trump’s ire on Saturday spilled over into the Republican Party, during his high anticipated rebuke of Ms. Cheney.
“In many ways, worse than the terrible Democrats are the backstabbing RINO Republicans who are helping them do their act,” Mr. Trump said. “There is no RINO in America who has thrown in her lot with the radical left more than Liz Cheney.”
“She has gone crazy.”
He went on to attack Ms. Cheney and her father, Dick Cheney, the former Vice President under President George W. Bush, as “die-hard globalists and warmongers who have been plunging us into new conflicts for decades.”
Mr. Trump continues to wield significant power within the Republican Party, and his string of endorsements ahead of the midterms have been looked to as a bellwether for his popularity going into the 2024 presidential election. Mr. Trump has yet to announce his candidacy in the next presidential primary, though is seen as a likely contender.
Ms. Cheney enjoyed strong support in Wyoming before her feud with the former president reached its tipping point.
In January, a small GOP straw poll in the state showed massive support for her Trump-backed challenger, with 59 of the 71 members of the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee favoring Ms. Hageman over Ms. Cheney.
In February, the Wyoming Republican Party formally censured Ms. Cheney for her vote to impeach Mr. Trump and for her criticism of the former president.
“The people of Wyoming are going to tell her ‘Liz, you’re FIRED,” Mr. Trump said Saturday.
“All of America is counting on you, Wyoming,” he said.