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Liz Cheney

Trump Meeting With Cheney Opponents In New Jersey For Endorsement Possibility

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Former President Donald Trump intends to meet with some of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney’s primary election opponents next week with an eye toward a potential endorsement, he announced Tuesday.

Trump announced on his website that he would be meeting with some of Cheney’s opponents in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he owns a golf course. He said he will make an endorsement in the race in the next several months.

“Paying close attention to the Wyoming House Primary against loser RINO Liz Cheney,” Trump said on Tuesday. “Some highly respected pollsters tell me she’s toast in Wyoming after siding with Crazy Nancy Pelosi and supporting the Democrat Impeachment Hoax. And that’s just the beginning! This is a “hot” race with some very interesting candidates running against her. Remember though, in the end we just want ONE CANDIDATE running against Cheney.”

It wasn’t clear who Trump intended to meet with, as there are numerous potential candidates running for the seat.

Currently, eight people have announced their intent to run against Cheney in her 2022 re-election bid: state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, state rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, Cheyenne businessman Darin Smith, retired U.S. Army Col. Denton Knapp, Sheridan resident Bryan Miller, Sheridan businesswoman Robyn Belinskey, former Pavillion Mayor Marissa Selvig and Bryan Keller.

Sheridan’s Belinskey and Knapp, of Gillette, said they had not been contacted about the meeting as of Tuesday afternoon.

Other candidates could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Virginians Biggest Contributors To Cheney Campaign, More Than $220K

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Residents of Virginia have donated more than four times as much to the campaign of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney as residents of Wyoming, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Reports filed with the FEC show that so far this year, Virginia residents have donated $225,646 to Cheney, making the state the top contributor in the nation for the Republican. Wyoming, with a donation total of $53,750, comes in at seventh place — behind Virginia, Washington, D.C., California, New York, Maryland and Florida.

However, the Wyoming donations to the campaigns of Cheney’s top opponents were lower, the reports showed.

State Rep. Charles Gray, R-Casper, has raised about $33,750 from individual contributors in Wyoming so far this year, while Wyoming donors for state Sen. Anthony Bouchard have contributed $28,625, according to their reports.

The candidates for U.S. House were to submit reports by Thursday detailing donations to their campaigns and what they have spent through the second quarter of the year, which ended June 30.

Of the nine individuals who have announced they plan to challenge Cheney, the second-quarter reports of only three have been posted on the FEC’s website — Bouchard, Everett Denton Knapp of Gillette and Marissa Joy Selvig of Riverton.

The report of state Rep. Charles Gray, R-Casper, had not been processed for posting on the FEC website as of Friday, however, a representative provided the campaign’s raw report to Cowboy State Daily.

Other challengers to Cheney, including Cheyenne businessman Darin Smith, Sheridan resident Bryan Miller and Sheridan businesswoman Robyn Belinskey, are not yet listed on the FEC website as candidates for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat, although all announced their candidacies this spring.

The report showed that Cheney continued to handily outdistance her opponents for fundraising in the second quarter of the year, raising $1.7 million during the three months to bring her fundraising total so far this year to $3 million.

Of the money contributed to Cheney in the second quarter of the year, almost $1.5 million came from individuals and $262,500 came from political action committees.

According to Bouchard’s reports, his campaign raised $209,635 in the second quarter of the year, bringing his fundraising totals to $543,800 for the year.

All of Bouchard’s second-quarter donations came from individuals.

Gray’s second-quarter donations totaled $55,860, most of which, almost $54,615, came from individuals. The donations between April and the end of June raised Gray’s total contributions for the year to $96,014.

Another $165,194 was raised through a loan made or guaranteed by Gray during the second quarter, according to the records, raising his campaign’s total loan amount for the year to about $298,300.

The report for Knapp, who entered the race in May, showed he has raised $8,675, all if it from individuals.

Selvig’s report showed she raised $122.50 during the second quarter, all in the form of individual donations, bringing her fundraising total to $2,090 for the year.

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Cheney: Biden’s BLM Nominee Should Be Immediately Withdrawn

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to head the U.S. Bureau of Land Management should be withdrawn for a number of reasons, including her work with two men later imprisoned for acts of eco-terrorism, according to U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.

Cheney joined her colleague U.S. Sen. John Barrasso this week in opposing President Joe Biden’s current nominee to head the BLM.

Cheney penned a letter to Biden on Thursday, formally asking him to withdraw Stone-Manning’s nomination to head the BLM for a number of reasons, including her previous friendship with two men who were convicted of putting spikes into hundreds of trees in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest to block a timber sale in 1989.

“Through these actions, she has shown she is not the right person to lead the BLM and her nomination should be immediately withdrawn,” the representative wrote in her letter to the president.

The letter cited several examples of Stone-Manning’s past policy positions and actions that Cheney felt made her unfit to lead the bureau, including her comments critical of “multiple use,” a BLM policy requiring that resources on public lands be used for a variety of purposes to best benefit the public. Cheney also pointed to Stone-Manning’s support for penalizing the energy industry, her opposition to the sage-grouse final environmental impact statements and her involvement in the tree-spiking incident.

Cheney added that Stone-Manning’s beliefs showed a “complete lack of understanding needed to manage lands consistent with BLM’s core mandate of multiple use,” which would continue to diminish economic activity in rural states and cause harm to communities across the west.

According to Fox News, Stone-Manning was granted immunity in the tree spiking incident in exchange for admitting that she retyped and sent an anonymous and threatening letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, her former roommate and friend.

Stone-Manning eventually testified against Blount and Jeffrey Fairchild, both of whom were later convicted of the tree spiking, according to E&E News. Court records indicated she had no knowledge of the tree spiking itself.

Cheney said Stone-Manning’s involvement in the incident was highly disturbing and added that former BLM director Bob Alley, who served under President Barack Obama, even felt her nomination should be withdrawn due to her ties with eco-terrorists.

This echoed similar statements made by Barrasso over the last month about the BLM nominee.

“Tracy Stone-Manning lied to the Senate (Energy and Natural Resources) Committee by claiming the tree spiking was ‘alleged’ & that she was never investigated,” Barrasso said on social media in late June. “Now, we have confirmation that neither of those things are true. @POTUS must withdraw her nomination.”

Stone-Manning is a longtime Montana government official and current senior adviser for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation.

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Cheney Challengers Criticize Congresswoman’s Jan 6 Committee Assignment

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

It was a political heyday for at least three candidates who are running against Rep. Liz Cheney for Wyoming’s sole congressional seat.

The appointment by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Cheney to the Select House Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol was an opportunity for challengers of the seat to turn the incumbent into a piñata. And they took many swings.

The three candidates had different strategies. Two opponents demanded that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy remove Cheney from her other committee assignments.

“I now call on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to immediately strip Liz Cheney of her committee assignments and replace her with a trustworthy conservative who will represent the Wyoming values that Liz Cheney has abandoned,” Cheyenne lawyer Darin Smith said.

Wyoming State Rep. Chuck Gray upped the ante by calling for her removal from the House Republican Caucus as well. 

“She should immediately be removed from her committee assignments by the Republican Caucus and also be removed from the Republican Caucus itself,” Gray said.

Gray also said Cheney was a “sell-out to the radical socialists” and called her vote in favor of creating the select committee “disgusting, despicable, and un-American.”

Smith’s language, on the other hand, wasn’t as colorful, as he simply said the congresswoman “was not up to the task” of fighting and taking America back.

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, didn’t demand Cheney be removed from anything but did summarize Cheney’s appointment to his Twitter and Facebook followers in his descriptive way: “Did you miss the news today? Liz Cheney KISSED Pelosi’s ring and licked her shoes. #YUK.”

Bouchard also called himself a “Conservative Pitbull” who “will put America first.”

“Send me to the swamp, and I’ll take a chunk out of their leg,” he said.

Both Gray and Smith brought up the 2020 presidential election. Gray was more bold calling the election “illegitimate” and “fraudulent.” While Smith didn’t take a position on the validity of the election , he said there were “legitimate concerns with an election that appeared deeply flawed to millions of people.”

Smith also said the events surrounding the melee on January 6 had been mischaracterized.

“Contrary to popular belief, most people who attended the January 6th protest were peaceful and law-abiding citizens who were expressing their Constitutional right to speak, assemble, and protest,” he said.

“I know this because I was there. I’m proud to have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of my fellow citizens to express support for President Donald J. Trump and raise legitimate concerns with an election that appeared deeply flawed to millions of Americans,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, a small-mix of co-opters and/or poorly trained protesters crossed lines that should never have been crossed.”

Meanwhile, Cheney expressed appreciation for being named to the committee.

“I’m honored to have been named to serve on the January 6th select committee,” she said in a statement. “Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.”

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Pelosi Puts Cheney On Committee to Investigate Jan 6 Attack on U.S. Capitol

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney was appointed Thursday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on a special House committee formed to look into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Cheney was one of only two House Republicans to vote for establishing the select committee during proceedings Wednesday.

“I’m honored to have been named to serve on the January 6th select committee,” she said in a statement. “Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.”

Representatives on Wednesday voted 220-190 to create the special House committee after the U.S. Senate last month blocked legislation that would have created an outside, independent, bipartisan review commission to look into the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol.

Five people died during the incident, which saw armed individuals force their way into the Capitol while electoral votes from November’s general election were being certified.

Cheney has called for an independent body to look into the incident since February, expressing support for the independent review commission.

When voting for the House committee on Wednesday, Cheney said she would have preferred the investigation be handled by an independent panel, but since that proposal was killed, the House select committee was the best way to move forward.

Cheney was one of the eight House members to be selected for the committee by Pelosi, a Democrat. Five more positions will be filled with selections from the Republican Party.

Cheney said the investigation by the committee will help make sure such an incident does not occur again.

“(Jan. 6) saw the most sacred space in our Republic overrun by an angry and violent mob attempting to stop the counting of electoral votes and threatening the peaceful transfer of power,” she said in her statement.

“What happened on January 6th can never happen again. Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and non-partisan manner.”

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Cheney Votes For House Select Committee To Investigate Attacks On January 6

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney voted in favor of creating a House Select Committee to investigate the events surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Cheney said a bipartisan independent commission “would have been the best way to address the dangerous assault on the institutions of our democracy,” but the bill that would have enacted that mechanism failed in the U.S. Senate after passing the House.

Cheney was joined by only one other Republican — Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — in voting for the House Select Committee.

The select 13-member committee will have subpoena power, will investigate “the facts, circumstances and causes relating to the Jan. 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack” according to the resolution.

Eight members of the committee will be named by the majority Democrat party while the other five members will be named with input from the minority Republican party.

The structure and the makeup of the investigating body would have been far better, Cheney said, if the bipartisan commission would have been created instead.

“Earlier this month, along with 34 other House Republicans, I supported the establishment of a bipartisan independent commission to investigate the attack of January 6th,” Cheney said in a statement. “As I’ve said before, that would have been the best way to address the dangerous assault on the institutions of our democracy.”

“I believe this select committee is our only remaining option. I will vote to support it,” she said.

Prior to today’s vote, Cheney spoke out for months in support of the creation of a bipartisan panel modeled after the 9/11 commission to obtain the facts about what happened in the lead-up to and on January 6th.

“It needs to really be bipartisan and really be populated with serious individuals who will take a clear-eyed look at what went on,” she said during a speech at the Reagan Institute earlier this year

While appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation in April, Cheney stressed that the investigation shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

“You just had 140 national security officials from Republican and Democratic administrations send a letter to Congress saying, ‘We need a commission’,” she said.

On Wednesday she again stressed the need for a non-partisan look at the events which resulted in the deaths of five individuals.

“This investigation can only succeed if it is sober, professional, and non-partisan. The threat to our democracy is far too grave for grandstanding or political maneuvering,” she said.”

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Cheney: It’s Unfortunate Biden Chose to Meet With Putin

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is questioning President Joe Biden’s decision to meet this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an international summit.

Cheney appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show Thursday morning to talk about her distrust for the Russian president and her belief Biden shouldn’t give the Russian president a platform.

“It was unfortunate that President Biden decided to go to this meeting with Putin,” she said on the radio program. “We see this again and again where U.S. presidents don’t recognize that meeting with Putin gives him a platform on the world stage.”

Biden and Putin met for three hours on Wednesday to discuss cyberattacks, the conflict in Ukraine, arms control and more, according to The Associated Press.

Cheney said Biden should clearly communicate by his actions that he won’t stand for the alleged misconduct of Putin and other Russians, such as their influence in the 2016 election. She added Biden and his administration did not appear to have a strategy before attending the meeting with Putin.

“I think there were some other things President Biden should have been doing rather than that,” she said.

According to CNN, the U.S. and Russia reached several agreements during the meeting, including the decision to allow each other’s ambassadors to return to their posts. Russia’s ambassador to the United States was called back to Moscow in March after Biden referred to Putin as a “killer,” while the American ambassador to Russia returned to Washington, D.C., in April.

The two leaders also agreed to establish task forces to deal with cyberattacks.

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Cheney Compares Trump’s Election Claims to Chinese Community Party

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

During a recent appearance on political analyst David Axelrod’s podcast, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney compared former President Donald Trump’s remarks about election fraud to claims made by the Chinese Communist Party.

Cheney appeared on the latest episode of “The Axe Files,” which is hosted by Axelrod, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

During her appearance, Axelrod asked if Cheney was uncomfortable with Trump’s claims about election fraud leading up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol in January.

“There were a number of occasions where I spoke out with respect to things like guaranteeing a peaceful transition of power even before we got to the election,” she said. “The other thing that occurs to me is when you listen to Donald Trump talk now, when you hear the language he is using now, it is the same things that the Chinese Community Party say about the United States and our democracy.”

She added that when Trump claims the nation’s democratic system is broken and incapable of conveying the word of the people, it is similar to propaganda spread by the CCP against the U.S.

Cheney and Axelrod noted that she voted with the former president 93% of the time he was in office, but she was not one to blindly follow his lead. She pointed out a time when she criticized Trump for siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he believed the Russian’s statements over reports by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The representative has also tried to explain to Wyoming voters the reasoning behind her vote to impeach Trump following the Capitol attack by comparing him to Obama.

“One of the ways I explained my vote to my constituents is ‘You need to imagine if it were Barack Obama doing these things, if it were Barack Obama had tried to steal the election, had been pressuring local democratic officials to change the results in defined votes,'” she said.

Cheney has received much blowback from her impeachment vote, even being removed from her position as House Republican Conference chair. Wyoming legislators Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, and Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, announced their respective campaigns against Cheney for her House seat in response to her vote.

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Cheney Backs Independent Commission To Investigate Capitol Invasion

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney voted in support this week of Congress creating an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

On Wednesday, Cheney posted two photos of police officers and National Guard soldiers sitting on the floor of the Capitol following the insurrection earlier this year, defending her decision to vote in support of the commission.

“What happened that day must never happen again,” she said. “I urge the Senate to pass the bipartisan 1/6 commission bill. Some things must be above politics.”

Cheney was one of 35 House Republicans to support forming the commission, and so the bill is now headed to the Senate.

In a recent op-ed Cheney penned for the Washington Post, she pointed out although other branches of government are investigating the riot, it is critical for Congress to dispel misinformation circulating in the press and on social media.

“We should appoint former officials, members of the judiciary and other prominent Americans who can be objective, just as we did after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,” she wrote. “The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks.”

She also noted in a recent statement that it is common to form a commission after many major tragic events in the country, such as Pearl Harbor and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Cheney has been vocal in condemning the attack on the Capitol, even voting to impeach former President Donald Trump over allegations he incited the action with his comments shortly before the incident. This has generated considerable criticism of the representative and she was recently voted out of her position as House Republican Conference chair earlier this month.

Many congressional Republicans have downplayed the events of Jan. 6, causing a rift in the Republican Party.

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UW Prof/Author: Cheney Situation Is Uncharted Territory For Wyoming

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

The circumstances and fallout surrounding the ouster of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney from her U.S. House leadership position have left even a guy who studies state politics and history for a living scratching his head.

James King, a University of Wyoming political science professor and co-author of “The Equality State: Government and Politics in Wyoming,” told the Cowboy State Daily that the situation surrounding Wyoming’s only member of the House has put the state and nation into uncharted territory.

“Normally, the Republican elected officials and the Republicans in the state are pretty much in tune with one another,” he said. “They keep focusing on the same agenda. But we’ve not had a situation where a former elected official has continued to insert and try to exert an influence on what the party is doing.”

King said several key factors are at the heart of the fracture within the Republican Party, primarily former President Donald Trump’s refusal to retire quietly in keeping with tradition. He also pointed to the rise of social media as a popular platform for bickering for all sides of the dispute.

Then there’s the unprecedented rioting at and invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6 during what has traditionally been a benign perfunctory counting of electoral votes. 

Regardless of the factors leading up to this point, King noted, the country and party are currently in a place they have never been as backers of both Cheney and Trump dig in their respective feet.  

Ironically, King said, Trump and Cheney have more in common than not. Along with winning their respective nominations by landslides, the two align strongly on conservative values and policies popular with the majority of voters in the Cowboy State.   

Now, however, Cheney’s dissent seems not to be based on ideological lines, but rather the future direction of the party. 

“Certainly we’re in a situation where Representative Cheney has been and is looking to set one course for the Republican Party, and other members want a different course,” King said. “I don’t think there’s really disagreements about policy, or policy objectives…but clearly Cheney has been trying to focus the discussion prospectively, looking to the future, while others who want to continue the link with former President Trump see it as the way to advance the agenda in the coming elections. So basically, we have a disagreement over what’s the best way to get to where we want to go.”

This disagreement in itself, King noted, is rare for a party that is typically aligned on the fundamentals. 

This riff will no doubt manifest itself in the upcoming midterms, King predicted, although he thinks that given her voting record and popularity with voters in Wyoming, Cheney will retain her congressional seat should she choose to run for re-election in 2022.

“I think within Wyoming, there’s still going to be a base of support shortly,” he said. “Cheney will lose some support in the primary next year, but there is going to be a primary challenge, and she would lose support regardless.”

As to her motives, King said he would take Cheney at her word that her vote to impeach Trump following the Capitol riot was a principled decision. He noted Cheney was not the only Republican to have voted for Trump’s impeachment, but added her standing and name recognition fueled the discord and name calling seen in the mainstream media and social media.

The national media has highlighted the division within the Republican conference, which further fuels the narrative, King said.

“Stories of everybody getting along don’t make the front pages of the newspaper,” he said, nor has there been a former president so savvy at dominating the coverage. 

“When (Trump) was a candidate, he was very expert at keeping the attention focused on him and away from his challengers for the Republican nomination. As president, he set the tone for what the issues were going to be in terms of discussion. And he’s for the Republican Party, at least, has continued to do that. His use of a medium that is relatively new has proved to be quite expert.”

Up until now, there hasn’t been an equivalent of a former president emerging in a show of force in an attempt to influence the party or drive policy, he added. 

Together, these elements are proving to be transformative both on a state and national level. If anything, the midterms will be a bellwether for the party’s direction, King said.

“Instead of the Republican primaries playing out as candidates try to position themselves as the best to challenge Joe Biden, they may find the debate being within the Republican primary about who’s most loyal to Donald Trump,” he said. “And that’s a very different dynamic than we’ve ever seen.”

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