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Rep. Liz Cheney forming anti-Trump group, says ‘thinking about’ presidential run

Rep. Liz Cheney during the first Jan. 6 committee public hearing, June 9, 2022. (House of Representatives/Released)
August 17, 2022

After Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) suffered a significant defeat in her Republican primary against her Trump-backed opponent Harriet Hageman, Cheney said that she is “thinking about” running for president. Cheney also said she is launching a new anti-Trump organization to oppose “any Donald Trump campaign for president.”

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In an exclusive interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday, Cheney said she will do “whatever it takes” to keep former President Trump out of the White House.

“I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic. 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,” Cheney said.

When asked if she is considering a run for the Oval Office, Cheney deflected, saying, “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.”

Asked again if she is running for president, Cheney said, “That’s a decision that I’m going to make in the coming months, and I’m not going to make any announcements here this morning — but it is something that I am thinking about.”

During her concession speech Tuesday evening, Cheney appeared to compare herself to President Abraham Lincoln, with a hint at her own presidential run.

“The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all. Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our Union, and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history,” Cheney said.

“Speaking at Gettysburg of the great task remaining before us, Lincoln said that ‘we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” Cheney continued, quoting Lincoln. “‘That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. And that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.’”

Trump congratulated Hageman on her defeat of Cheney in a message posted on his social media platform Truth Social. 

“Congratulations to Harriet Hageman on her great and very decisive WIN in Wyoming. This is a wonderful result for America, and a complete rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs,” Trump wrote, referring to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol breach.

“Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others. Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now. Thank you WYOMING!”

In June, Cheney, vice chairwoman of the House Jan. 6 committee, alleged that Trump “assembled the mob” that “attack[ed]” the Capitol last year. The Republican congresswoman also turned on other members of her own party, accusing them of “dishonor” for supposedly “defending the indefensible.”