- Trump lashed out at his critic, Rep. Liz Cheney, at a rally in Wyoming on Saturday.
- Trump has endorsed Harriet Hageman, a lawyer who is running to unseat Cheney.
- The rally comes days after Trump’s high-profile endorsements failed in Georgia.
CASPER, Wyoming — Thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump jumped out of their seats and lifted their phones to capture the moment he took the stage Saturday afternoon at a rally in support of Harriet Hageman, a lawyer who shows up to overthrow Representative Liz. Cheney in the next Republican primary.
The crowd, which nearly filled the Ford Wyoming Center, a 9,700-capacity arena, greeted Trump with a long standing ovation, thunderous applause and chants of “USA.”
“The people of Wyoming are going to vote to dump your RINO congresswoman, Liz Cheney,” Trump told the audience, who erupted in cheers, “And you’re going to send the amazing Harriet Hageman to Congress.”
Trump’s appearance in the Red State on Saturday demonstrated his commitment to trying to oust Cheney from Congress. A Trump ally turned critic, Cheney sharply berated the former president following the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill. She was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for “inciting insurrection” last year.
Trump has since targeted the congresswoman and vowed revenge on Republicans like Cheney who he says betrayed him. Cheney, a staunch conservative, stood up to Trump amid an onslaught of national and state-level backlash from members of her own party.
Trump ripped Cheney during several parts of his speech, saying she “hates Republican Party voters.” The speech was in part a broad airing of Trump’s frequent grievances, including about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election; his two dismissals, the size of the crowds; the investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack — which he called a “hoax” — and Cheney’s vote to impeach him.
Trump calls for support for Hageman
“Liz Cheney talks about America last,” Trump said, flanked by two giant screens that displayed a meme of Cheney’s face transformed with that of former President George W. Bush. “She’s weak on border security, by the way, very weak on border security.”
The former president’s arrival in Wyoming, his first-ever political appearance in the state, comes as the primary has just kicked off. Cheney officially filed for re-election on Thursday. There has yet to be a meaningful poll on the race, which takes place on August 16. Trump urged voters on Saturday afternoon to back Hageman over Cheney.
“All of America is counting on you, Wyoming,” Trump said. “I think this is the most important election we have.”
The primary election is widely seen as a test of Trump’s influence over the Republican Party. Recently, Trump’s high-profile endorsements in the Georgia primary election fell through. Trump had backed two main challengers against incumbent Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both of whom had rejected Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the battleground state. Kemp and Raffensperger each won their primary races on Wednesday by a landslide. Trump-backed candidates in Ohio and Pennsylvania have won their primaries in recent weeks, however.
This report has been updated with remarks from the rally.