By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Congressional candidate Harriet Hageman declined to acknowledge the presidency of Joe Biden several times in an interview with CNN this week.
In an interview published Thursday, Hageman also called former President Donald Trump the “leader of the [Republican] party” and questioned the integrity of the 2020 election.
“She repeatedly declined to acknowledge that Joe Biden won, and said, ‘I think that there are legitimate questions about what happened during the 2020 election,'” said the article published on CNN’s website. “Hageman said, ‘The legitimate questions are: ‘What happened?'”
The idea that Biden did not legitimately win the White House has been blamed as a root cause of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as Congress was certifying the results from November’s general election.
Hageman announced her candidacy for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat last week, just hours before Trump endorsed her campaign.
In an interview with Fox News she gave last week, Hageman said she was running for the seat because U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney had “betrayed” Wyoming.
“It’s very simple: Liz Cheney has betrayed Wyoming,” Hageman said. “She betrayed all of us and she betrayed me. Had I known five years ago that Liz Cheney would align herself with [Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi and the radical Democrats in Washington, D.C., I probably wouldn’t have taken that first phone call.”
Hageman said she is unhappy with Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump earlier this year on allegations he encouraged attendees at a rally to invade the U.S. Capitol and her appointment to serve on a commission investigating the invasion.
During her interview, Hageman made a dig at Cheney’s lack of time spent in Wyoming. Hageman noted she is a Wyoming native whose family has lived in the state for generations.
“The state of Wyoming deserves to be represented by someone from Wyoming, by someone who was born and raised here, as I was, someone who has Wyoming’s best interests at heart,” she said.
Cheney was not impressed with the candidacy announcement or Trump endorsement.
“She [Hageman] is now abandoning that principle, sacrificing her oath, abandoning her duty to the people of Wyoming — in order to pledge loyalty to Donald Trump,” Cheney said in a call with Wyoming reporters last week.
Cheney said it was “tragic to see that kind of opportunism” and was “inconsistent with Wyoming values.”
Two candidates have dropped out of the race since Hageman’s announcement: Cheyenne attorney Darin Smith and Casper Rep. Chuck Gray.