As polls indicate a heavy defeat is on the horizon for Liz Cheney in Wyoming, former president Donald Trump took a dig at the Republican representative and used his trademark phrase – “You’re fired” – to attack her.
“This is your chance to send a message to the RINOs (Republican in Name Only) and the fake news media, the radical left lunatics, that we have unfortunately too many in our country, and you’re going to elect Harriet, and you’re going to tell warmonger Liz Cheney – so bad, so negative – Liz, you’re fired,” Mr Trump told viewers at a tele-rally for Harriet Hageman on Monday.
Last week, a poll had suggested that Ms Cheney was behind Ms Hageman, her top rival and former staffer, by 29 points.
The former president called the race “one of the most critical primary elections in the history of our country” and claimed the “whole world” was watching it.
He called Ms Hageman “a friend” and a “person I have gotten to know very well”.
“Few members of Congress in history have personally caused more damage to our republic than Liz Cheney,” Mr Trump alleged, adding that she is “phoney” and her take on the 6 January riot was “grotesquely false and fabricated hysterical partisan narrative”.
“The Democrats use her for sound bites, they like to say ‘Republican Liz Cheney’ and then they go into these horrendous anti-Republican, anti-country sound bites. It’s been a disaster,” he continued.
“She’s aided and abetted the radical Democrat Party in their unhinged, lawless and dangerous witchhunt — a witchhunt that never ends.”
Ms Cheney is serving on the House select committee on January 6 and has said that her crusade to stop Donald Trump will continue even if she loses the primary.
In an interview with the New York Times recently, she admitted that restoring a “very sick” GOP will take years.
“The party is continuing to drive itself in a ditch and I think it’s going to take several cycles if it can be healed,” she said.
In what was seen as retaliation for attacking him, the former president backed Ms Cheney’s rival, the 59-year-old Ms Hageman, even though the latter had in 2016 opposed Mr Trump and supported Ted Cruz.
In June, Mr Trump said at a rally in Casper that Wyoming deserves a Congresswoman “who stands up for you and your values, not one who spends all of her time putting you down and going after your president in the most vicious way possible”.
Mark Christensen, a former Campbell County commissioner and Ms Cheney’s ally, said the Republican could have cruised to another term if “she had just kept her head in the sand” like everybody else.
“But she’s not really the person who does that. She’s not really that person who shies away from a fight,” he told ABC News.
Meanwhile, because of her opposition to Mr Trump, Ms Cheney lost her leadership position in the House Republican Conference and was also expelled by Wyoming’s Republican Party.
However, she has maintained her stance. She said last week that Donald Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him was a “cancer” and “insidious”.