Aug. 17 (UPI) — One day after losing badly in her bid to keep her seat in Congress, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming — who’s been perhaps the fiercest GOP critic of former President Donald Trump — said Wednesday that she’s mulling her own bid for the White House.
Tuesday’s contest was widely seen as a test of Trump’s grip on the Republican Party and it ended with Cheney conceding defeat to GOP challenger Harriet Hageman, who was endorsed by the former president and has repeated his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Cheney, the 56-year-old daughter of two-term former Vice President Dick Cheney, has condemned Trump for his actions following the election and before the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. She is one of just two Republicans on the House Jan. 6 committee and has repeatedly made clear that Trump should never be allowed to hold power again.
In an interview Wednesday with NBC’s Today, Cheney vowed to build a bipartisan coalition to block Trump’s efforts to run again.
“I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic,” she said during the interview. “And I think that defeating him is going to require a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents, and that’s what I intend to be a part of.”
In her remarks, Cheney indicated that she may seek the presidency.
“That’s a decision that I’m going to make in the coming months,” she said. “I’m not going to make any announcements here this morning — but it is something that I am thinking about.”
Hageman’s victory over Cheney, a three-term congresswoman, was not a surprise on Tuesday. Polling for months has indicated that Cheney would lose the primary challenge in a heavily conservative state that’s supported Trump more than any other. Almost 70% of Wyoming voters cast a ballot for Trump in 2020.
On Tuesday, Hageman captured more than 60% of the vote while Cheney garnered about 30%.
In May 2021, House Republicans stripped Cheney of her leadership post as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference after she rebuked Trump in public for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. She was also one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol attack.
As vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, Cheney has said that all members of Congress must do whatever is necessary to make sure Trump is never elected again.
Her opposition made Cheney perhaps the top target for Trump and also led to censures from the Wyoming GOP and the national Republican Party over her vote to impeach. Trump, the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, was acquitted both times in the GOP-held Senate.
“Our work is far from over,” Cheney told supporters in her concession speech late Tuesday. “I have said since Jan. 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office — and I mean it.”
“We’ve now got one major political party, my party, which has really become a cult of personality, and we’ve got to get this party back to a place where we’re embracing the values and the principles on which it was founded,” she told “Today” on Wednesday.
Trump, who’s currently facing possible federal charges for classified documents that he took from the White House to his home in Florida, called Cheney’s defeat “a complete rebuke” of the Jan. 6 investigation.
“Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions toward others,” he wrote on his social media platform. “Now she can finally disappear unto the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now. Thank you WYOMING!”
Cheney will remain in the House until the next Congress is seated in early January.
Another Republican who’s a frequent Trump critic, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, survived a primary on Tuesday and advanced to the general election in November. Former Gov. Sarah Palin, who was John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008, also advanced to November’s election in her bid for the state’s only House seat.
Other Trump allies have claimed recent primary victories in Arizona and Michigan, two states that Biden carried in 2020 and were targeted by Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the results.
Mark Finchem, an election denier and the former’s president’s choice for Arizona secretary of state, cruised to victory despite his affiliation with the Oath Keepers militia group and social posts promoting Nazi imagery. Blake Masters, another Trump loyalist, won in a crowded field for state Senate by beating GOP candidate Rusty Bowers, who testified against Trump during the Jan. 6 public hearings.