Trump declares Wyoming 'ultra' MAGA country, makes clear Cheney only part of larger RINO purge plan

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney is a perhaps the No. 1 elected Never Trump candidate seeking office this election cycle

Updated: May 28, 2022 - 8:51pm

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Former President Trump was greeted Saturday night with a sea of cheers at a massive rally in Wyoming, one in which the Republican politician teed up a major push against what he said were insufficiently conservative Republicans in Congress, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney. 

Trump also arrived in the city of Casper to rally GOP voters to back his candidate, lawyer Harriet Hageman, in trying to deny Cheney a fourth term – after she sided with Democrats to vote to impeach him over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, then helped them lead a congressional investigation into the matter.

He also made clear that Cheney is neither the first nor last Republican he finds disloyal to the GOP and ready to be ousted from elected office.

“Over the next six months the people of Wyoming are going to vote to dump your RINO [Republican-in-Name-Only] congresswoman Liz Cheney," Trump told the cheering crowd, "and you’re going to send the incredible Harriet Hagemen to Congress."

Trump said Hagemen in Congress would help “end Crazy [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s political career once and for all," and would fight against "backstabbing RINO Republicans helping" Democrats in Washington.

The president riffed in his usual free-association style during the event, turning to subjects such as antifa, the January 6 commission and election integrity throughout the country. 

“The Democratic crusade to gut election integrity is something that nobody has ever seen anything like it in this country," he said during his roughly one-hour speech. “Wyoming, all of America is counting on you.”

After having become one of Trump's biggest political foes, Cheney has emerged this election cycle to become perhaps the GOP's biggest, albeit unofficial, "NeverTrump" candidate.

To be sure, Trump has never been coy about singling out his political rivals, with Cheney being no exception.

Even before she voted to impeach Trump, the former president singled out Cheney for her non-support of his foreign policy, calling her a "warmonger." The moniker also seemes to have come from her being the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney of the Bush administration that invaded Iraq in March 2003.

The winner of the GOP primary for Cheney's House seat will likely keep it for the GOP, considering Wyoming is among the most conservative-leaning states in the country. (And Wyoming has only one House seat, so the holder represents the entire state.)

Cheney is mostly unpopular within the House Republican Conference and has been censure by the state Republican Party for her post-Jan. 6 actions. However, she appears to have some support among state voters, and she has a large campaign coffer.

Still, a new survey on her primary, commissioned by the conservative, anti-tax group Club for Growth, which is backing Hageman, shows Hageman with 56% of the vote, compared to 26% for Cheney and 12% for state Sen. Anthony Bouchard.

Trump at the rally told the crowd that "it's time you finally had a representative who will put America first and who is looking to make America great again.”

In response, the crowd began chanting "USA! USA!" 

At the event, Trump also turned to familiar territory by riffing on the media, including journalists present to cover the rally. “You saw their ratings after the election,” he said during the rally. “Their ratings died."

"They want us back so badly, I actually thought they were going to endorse me," he said.