Former President Donald Trump called former Vice President Dick Cheney a “great guy” in a video that resurfaced after branding Trump a “coward” in a reelection campaign ad for his daughter, Representative Liz Cheney.
Representative Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, emerged as one of Trump’s top GOP critics following the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol building when a mob of Trump supporters, motivated by baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, rioted came to prevent Congressional certification President Joe Biden’s election victory.
Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his alleged role in instigating the riot and is one of two Republicans on the committee investigating the insurgency. Her sharp rebuke of the ex-president appears to anger Trump and GOP voters in her district, with Trump endorsing her primary challenger to the GOP, attorney Harriet Hageman.
Cheney released a new campaign ad this week featuring her father, a Republican who served as vice president under former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009, and who also criticized Trump for faltering re-election prospects.
“In the 246-year history of our nation, there has never been a person who has posed a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump,” he said. “He tried to steal the last election with lies and violence to keep himself in power after the voters rejected him. He is a coward – a real man would not lie to his supporters.”
As the campaign ad went viral, reaching nearly 8 million views on Saturday morning, an older video of Trump praising Vice President Cheney surfaced on Twitter in 2018.
During a meeting with members of Congress on June 20, 2018, Trump speaks amicably with the congresswoman, as well as Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who has also become a staunch Trump critic after the 2020 election. The video was posted. by C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman and has been viewed over 20,000 times.
Trump and Cheney were discussing defense policy, with Cheney providing updates on Republicans’ plans to pass a credit bill when the then-president asked her to tell her father he’d said hello.
“Thank you, Liz,” he said. “And say goodbye to your father, please. Great guy.’
The resurfaced video shows the extent to which tensions between Trump and more traditional conservatives have increased in recent years following the riots. The former president also faced criticism from those seen as part of the GOP’s founding, but the party’s two wings were largely united to achieve conservative goals during Trump’s tenure as president. However, relations between Trump and some members of the GOP deteriorated significantly after January 6, 2021.
Soured Relations Between Trump and Cheney Could Lower Her Re-election Bid
The video surfaced less than two weeks before Cheney’s toughest election yet, where she will meet Trump-backed Hageman in Wyoming’s major congressional district, which gave Trump nearly 70 percent of the vote in 2020.
Despite floundering polls among the general electorate, Trump remains popular with large swaths of Republican voters, with candidates seeking his approval to boost their popularity among his voters. Polls show Hageman is the preferred choice to beat Cheney in what would be a sting for anti-Trump Republicans.
A poll by the Casper Star Tribune conducted July 7-11, Hageman showed the support of 52 percent of likely primary voters, with only 30 percent saying they intended to vote for Cheney.
Polls suggest Cheney could be the third Republican in the House to vote to impeach Trump for losing re-election. Representatives Tom Rice of South Carolina and Peter Meijer of Michigan both lost their primaries to Trump-backed challengers, while four pro-impeachment Republicans declined to run for reelection.
News week contacted Trump’s office for comment.