Former President Donald Trump announced his endorsement of former Wyoming national GOP committeewoman Harriet Hageman in the primary race against one of his most vocal foes, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Thursday.
Trump has made Cheney — one of the 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching him following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol — one of his top targets in the 2022 election cycle, repeatedly accusing her of being a “RINO” and blasting her for partaking in the Jan. 6 select committee.
Hageman stepped down from her post as the state’s national Republican committeewoman on Tuesday.
Trump highlighted Hageman’s commitment to supporting his agenda.
“I strongly endorse Republican House of Representatives Candidate Harriet Hageman from Wyoming who is running against warmonger and disloyal Republican, Liz Cheney. Harriet is a fourth-generation daughter of Wyoming, a very successful attorney, and has the support and respect of a truly great U.S. Senator, Wyoming’s own Cynthia Lummis,” he said in a statement.
“Harriet Hageman adores the Great State of Wyoming, is strong on Crime and Borders, powerfully supports the Second Amendment, loves our Military and our Vets, and will fight for Election Integrity and Energy Independence (which Biden has already given up). Unlike RINO Liz Cheney, Harriet is all in for America First. Harriet has my Complete and Total Endorsement in replacing the Democrats number one provider of sound bites, Liz Cheney. Make America Great Again!”
Lummis has not formally endorsed a candidate in the race.
“Senator Lummis has known Harriet Hageman for decades, and has always considered her a dedicated supporter of our Wyoming way of life, a defender of our state’s values, and a friend,” a Lummis spokesman said in a statement. “While Senator Lummis is not making an endorsement at this time, she believes President Trump has made an inspired choice in backing Harriet Hageman.”
While Cheney has come under fire from members of her conference, she dismissed the primary threat, swinging back at the former president on Twitter.
“Here’s a sound bite for you: Bring it.,” she tweeted shortly after the announcement.
In addition to her tweet, Cheney released a statement defending coming out against Trump and affirming her commitment to representing her state.
“I am honored to represent the people of Wyoming and proud of my strong conservative record. I look forward to an extended public debate about the importance of the rule of law and the solemn duty of elected officials to uphold their oath to the Constitution,” she said in a statement. “It is tragic that some in this race have sacrificed those 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.”
While Trump allies have come out heavily against Cheney — a defense hawk and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — with embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) going as far as holding a rally in her home state urging for her ouster in 2022, several sources said they believe she still has a strong chance of retaining her seat.
“If it’s 1v1, Liz is toast. But if there’s 3+ candidates in the race, there’s a distinct chance Liz wins,” one well-connect Wyoming elected Republican told The Post in a text. “And I know at least 1 candidate isn’t gonna drop out.”
Cheney and Trump have long had a contentious relationship, butting heads on foreign policy issues during his tenure in the White House and the Wyoming Republican coming out against his rhetoric on numerous occasions.
She was ousted from her position as House Republican Conference chair by her GOP colleagues over her frequent criticisms of Trump earlier this year, with Trump-ally Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) succeeding her in the role.
Cheney previously told The Post that she is not ruling out a presidential bid in 2024, potentially teeing up a heated match between her and the former president.
“I’m not ruling anything in or out — ever is a long time,” she said in April, urging the party to move away from the Trump era.