Trump’s pick to run against Liz Cheney called him ‘racist and xenophobic’ in 2016

Donald Trump’s pick to defeat Liz Cheney in next year’s midterm election called him ‘racist and xenophobic’ in the 2016 presidential race but is now one of his most fervent supporters. 

Harriet Hageman, a longtime Wyoming Republican operative who was once a close ally of the Cheney family, was part of a GOP resistance movement against Trump in the 2016 presidential primary, The New York Times revealed on Monday. 

During the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland, Hageman worked with supporters of Ted Cruz in a failed attempt to force a floor vote between Cruz and Trump for the nomination – regardless of the fact Trump won enough primaries and caucuses to take the title. 

She blamed Democrats for Trump’s nomination, saying they had crossed the aisle to vote in GOP primaries to vote for Trump.  

She called Trump the ‘weakest candidate’ and warned the party would be stuck with ‘somebody who is racist and xenophobic.’

Donald Trump’s pick to defeat Liz Cheney in next year’s midterm election called him ‘racist and xenophobic’ in the 2016 presidential race but Harriet Hageman (left) is now one of his most fervent supporters

Harriet Hageman was once close to the Cheney family and helped Rep. Liz Cheney (above with Hageman) in her political career

The convention move failed, Trump took the nomination and defeated Hillary Clinton the 2016 presidential election. Many of his Republican critics during the primary – including Cruz and Lindsey Graham – became his allies once he was in the White House. 

In a statement to The Times, Hageman slammed Liz Cheney, blaming the Republican congresswoman for her actions.

‘I heard and believed the lies the Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends in the media were telling at the time, but that is ancient history as I quickly realized that their allegations against President Trump were untrue,’ Hageman said. ‘He was the greatest president of my lifetime, and I am proud to have been able to renominate him in 2020. And I’m proud to strongly support him today.’ 

Hageman ultimately endorsed Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and stood by him when many Republicans called for his exit after the ‘Access Hollywood’ tapes revealed his comments about women.  

Trump endorsed Hageman on September 9th after vowing to back a primary challenger to Cheney, punishing her for being one of the 10 Republicans to vote for his second impeachment. 

‘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,’ he said in his support of Hageman. 

He was aware of Hageman’s efforts at the 2016 Republican convention when he endorsed her. 

The Republican primary in Wyoming is August 16, 2022.  

The former president has made Cheney his top target in the 2022 midterm election, furious at her for her criticism of his actions in regards to the January 6th insurrection and for taking a spot on the House special committee investigating that day – an invitation she personally accepted from Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Some Republicans have rallied around Cheney. Former President George W. Bush held his first fundraiser and event of the midterms for her.

Cheney got in a troll at Trump with Bush’s endorsement. ‘I like Republican presidents who win re-election,’ she wrote on a Twitter with a picture of Bush. Trump famously criticized the late John McCain for being captured during the Vietnam War, saying ‘I like people who weren’t captured.’

Trump has made Rep. Liz Cheney (above) his top target for the 2022 midterm election, vowing to take her out in the GOP primary

Cheney is not backing down and is trolling Trump

She is campaigning hard and brought in an impressive fundraising total last quarter: $1.9 million – a large haul for a House race in a safe Republican seat.

She also was profiled on CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday night, where she explained her impeachment vote.  

‘There’s a difference between voting for Donald Trump, and being the Republican leader after an insurrection, and setting all of that aside and rehabilitating him – bringing him back in,’ she said. ‘That, to me, is unforgivable.’ 

She said her re-election bid is ‘going to be the most important House race in the country in 2022.’

Hageman, a failed Republican gubernatorial candidate, helped Cheney in her short-term exploration of a Wyoming Senate seat. She was close to both the congresswoman and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney. 

In that 2018 gubernatorial race, Trump endorsed her primary opponent billionaire Foster Friess, who died in May. But the winner was Mark Gordon, the former state treasurer who is now governor.

Hageman is a fourth-generation Wyoming resident who grew up on a ranch. She works as a land-use attorney in a state where land is a political issue. She made her name in the state by fighting environmentalists and government regulations.

She said in the announcement of her campaign that she was running against Cheney because ‘she betrayed Wyoming, betrayed the country and she betrayed me.’

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