- Trump went after his critic, Rep. Liz Cheney, at a rally in Wyoming on Saturday.
- Trump has endorsed Harriet Hageman, an attorney running to unseat Cheney.
- The rally comes days after Trump’s high-profile endorsements in Georgia flopped.
CASPER, Wyoming – Thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump jumped out of their seats and held up their phones to capture the moment he took the stage on Saturday afternoon at a rally in support of Harriet Hageman, an attorney running to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney in the upcoming Republican primary.
The crowd, which nearly filled up the Ford Wyoming Center, an arena with a 9,700-person capacity, welcomed 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, which erupted with cheers, “And you’re going to send the incredible 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 rebuked the former president following the January 6 Capitol riot. She was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” last year.
Trump has since targeted the congresswoman and vowed to exact revenge on Republicans like Cheney who he says have betrayed him. Cheney, a staunch conservative, has stood her ground against Trump amid an onslaught of national- and state-level backlash from members of her own party.
Trump ripped into Cheney during several parts of his speech, claiming she “hates the voters of the Republican Party.” The speech was in part a wide-ranging airing of Trump’s frequent grievances, including over the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections; his two impeachments, crowd sizes; the investigation into the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack – which he called a “hoax” – and Cheney’s vote to impeach him.
Trump urges support for Hageman
“Liz Cheney is about America last,” Trump said, flanked by two giant screens that displayed a meme of Cheney’s face morphed with former President George W. Bush’s. “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 is just getting kicked off. Cheney officially filed for her reelection bid on Thursday. There has been no significant polling on the race yet, which takes place on August 16. Trump urged voters on Saturday afternoon to support 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 considered as a test of Trump’s influence over the Republican Party. Recently, Trump’s high-profile endorsements in Georgia’s primary elections failed. Trump had backed two primary challengers against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both of whom had rejected Trump’s pushes to overturn the 2020 election results in the battleground state. Kemp and Raffensperger each won their primary races on Wednesday by a landslide. Trump-backed candidates in Ohio and Pennsylvania, however, won their primary elections in recent weeks.
This report has been updated with remarks from the rally.