Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney cast the Republican Party as “threatened by allegiance to an individual” — former President Donald Trump — and defended her work on the committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurgency during a debate with her four primary challengers from the GOP Thursday night.
“There is a real tragedy going on, and the tragedy is that there are politicians in this country, starting with Donald Trump, who have lied to the American people. People have been betrayed. He has consistently said the election was stolen when it wasn’t,” Cheney said in the debate broadcast by Wyoming PBS ahead of the Aug. 16 primaries.
She added: “We are now embracing a cult of personality. I will not be a part of that, and I will always stand for my oath and for the truth.”
Cheney will face Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, a former Wyoming Republican national commissioner, and three other Republicans in the primary for the state’s only seat in the U.S. House. Her rivals have attacked Cheney for her role as one of two Republicans on the House panel investigating the US Capitol riot, and have denied the importance of that investigation.
Cheney went on the offensive early on in the debate, pointing out that Hageman’s campaign had hired the consulting firm of Bill Stepien, Trump’s former campaign manager. Stepien, Cheney noted, had told the committee that he was happy to be part of “team normal” in the wake of Trump’s loss in the 2020 election, when Trump and some of his allies spearheaded lies and conspiracy theories about voter fraud. spreading.
“I would like to know if my opponent, Mrs Hageman, is here tonight to say that the election was not stolen. She knows it wasn’t stolen,” Cheney said.
However, Cheney said it would cost Hageman Trump’s approval. “If she says it wasn’t stolen, he won’t support her,” the congressman said.
Hageman made several false claims about the 2020 election, citing the movie “2000 Mules” that spreads conspiracy theories about ballot boxes and “Zuckerberg money” — a reference to charitable donations from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla. Chan, to help local election officials navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
“Truth matters,” Cheney said. “And the claims Ms. Hageman is making about the 2020 election are the same claims that the president’s lead attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was disbarred for,” she added, referring to Giuliani’s suspension from exercising the law in New York State. by an appeals court which found that he had made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” about the 2020 election.
“They’re just not true. It is not true that enough fraud has been committed to alter the outcome of the 2020 election. The president’s own attorney general has said that, the president’s own deputy attorney general has said that and, I mean, President Trump – President Trump’s campaign manager said that; White House counsel for President Trump said that; That’s what President Trump’s own family has said.”