Liz Cheney attacked Donald Trump and her Republican colleagues and said she is considering running for president in 2024 in her first interview on Wednesday morning - just hours after losing her primary by 37 points.
The defeated GOP Representative said the U. S. is facing its biggest challenge since the Civil War and said she will do 'whatever it takes' to keep the former president out of the White House in her appearance with Savannah Guthrie on NBC's Today show.
The three-term congresswoman for Wyoming's at-large district placed the blame for her 37.4-point loss Tuesday night solely on former President Donald Trump, who backed lawyer Harriet Hageman.
She refused to accept any suggestions that her focus turned away from issues important to Wyomingites in her mission to dethrone Trump. Cheney is one of just two Republicans on the House select committee attempting to peg the Capitol attack on Trump – even though deep red Wyoming was the state with the largest population to cast their ballots for Trump in 2020.
'There are some things that have to be above politics,' she said of turning against the leader of the modern Republican Party.
While Cheney won her last primary by 73-points, she is now paying the price for turning against Trump, which also led to the Wyoming GOP censuring her and House Republicans booting her from her Conference chairwoman post.
Cheney earned only 28.9 percent of the Republican primary vote on Tuesday versus Hageman's 66.3 percent.
Cheney's next steps will be to focus on keeping Trump out of the White House, which might include a run of her own in an aim to attract anti-MAGA Republicans, right-leaning independents and even some Democrats.
'I believe that Donald Trump continues to post a very grave threat and risk to our Republic,' she said on NBC's morning show. 'And I believe that defeating him will require a very broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. And that's what I intend to be a part of.'
'I know that there are millions and millions of Americans across this country, again, regardless of their party affiliation, who know that there's something more important than partisan politics and who know we all have to stand together if we want to defend this republic,' she insisted.
When pushed on if she's thinking about running for president, the congresswoman said: 'That's a decision that I'm going to make in the coming months.'
'I'm not going to make any announcements here this morning,' Cheney added. 'But it is something I'm thinking about.'
She said the Republican Party has become a 'cult of personality' and claimed that any GOP lawmaker who ignored or backed Trump after the Capitol riot last year should not be able to discuss any other issue at hand.
'This was a threat that we never faced before,' she said in reference to the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack. 'He crossed a line that couldn't be crossed.'
She added: 'And as a nation, you don't get the opportunity to debate and discuss any other issue if you simply turn your head away from that kind of fundamental threat on our Republic.'
Trump was overjoyed by Tuesday's election results after making it his revenge mission to get Cheney voted out of her House seat, and claiming that her defeat paved the way for the dissolution of the January 6 select committee.
'I assume that with the very big Liz Cheney loss, far bigger than had ever been anticipated, the January 6th Committee of political Hacks and Thugs will quickly begin the beautiful process of DISSOLUTION? This was a referendum on the never ending Witch Hunt,' Trump posted to his Truth Social account just after midnight.
'The people have spoken!' he lauded.
Cheney's next moves will be launching a group focusing on threats to America's government system – mainly focused on keeping Trump from winning another term in the White House.
'In coming weeks, Liz will be launching an organization to educate the American people about the ongoing threat to our Republic, and to mobilize a unified effort to oppose any Donald Trump campaign for president,' Cheney spokesperson Jeremy Adler told Politico.
The group doesn't yet have a name, but it will be Cheney's primary political group as she considers a 2024 White House bid of her own.
Hageman, a lawyer, spoke to supporters in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Tuesday night after she clobbered her former friend in the state's Republican primary.
She said: 'Today, Wyoming has spoken.'
The Trump-backed candidate characterized her win as an effort to 'dislodge entrenched politicians' from Washington, D. C.'s 'uni-party - those Democrats and Republicans who don't really care which party is in power, just as long as they are.'
'Wyoming has put the elites on notice,' Hageman said, adding that if you want to represent the Cowboy State, 'you damn better well live in Wyoming.'
Moments before, in her concession speech, Cheney hinted at a future presidential run, making comparisons to Abraham Lincoln, who lost a string of races before winning the White House.
'Abraham Lincoln was defeated in elections for the Senate and House before he won the most important election of all,' Cheney noted.
Cheney spoke about how she had won her primary two years ago by 73 points. 'I could easily have done the same again - the path was clear,' she said.
All she had to do, she said, was peddle former President Donald Trump's election fraud lies and enable his attacks on the democratic system.
'That is a path I could not and would not take,' Cheney said. 'This is not a game,' Cheney warned. 'Everyone of us must be committed to the eternal defense of this miraculous experiment called America,' she said.
Former President Donald Trump - who made Cheney his No. 1 2022 target - reveled in her loss. 'This is a wonderful result for America, and a complete rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs,' the ex-president said.
'Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others,' Trump continued. 'Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now.'
'Thank you WYOMING!' Trump added. It was obvious from early returns from the ultra-red state that Cheney was toast.
She first trailed Hageman by nine points - and then by 25. When NBC News and other outlets started calling the race for Hageman, Cheney was behind by more than 30.
At the top of her concession speech, Cheney informed her supporters that she had called Hageman and conceded the race - making the point that part of American democracy is accepting 'honorably' election results.
'This primary election is over,' she said. 'But now the real work begins.'
'We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face,' she continued. 'I will do whatever it takes to ensure Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office, and I mean it,' she also said.
Hageman's supporters - a number of them sporting cowboy hats - gathered around barrels decorated with cowhides and lassos munching on charcuterie platters or waiting for drinks at corner bar as Tucker Carlson's Fox News program played on large TVs.
At one point, Another One Bites the Dust, played loudly. The crowd cheered when favorable returns were shown on the TVs.
Hageman appeared at the podium before Cheney had completed speaking.
'Today we have succeeded at what we set out to do - we have reclaimed Wyoming's lone Congressional seat for Wyoming,' Hageman said.
She thanked Trump for his early support - and used his trademark Apprentice line. 'If we put you in power you will be accountable ... you will answer to us,' she said. 'And if you don't, we will fire you.'
Earlier Tuesday in Jackson, Cheney brought along her famous father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, to a polling place. He and Lynne Cheney sat front row during her concession speech.
'We're facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat,' Cheney told CBS News before going into vote. The threat, of course, being Trump.
'And those of us across the board - Republicans, Democrats and independents - who believe deeply in freedom and who care about the Constitution and the future of the country, I think have an obligation to put that above party,' she said.
She also said that 'no matter what the outcome is' the 'fight is cleary going to continue,' suggesting that while she may lose Tuesday night, her political career wasn't over.
'Proud to cast my ballot today. The challenges we are facing require serious leaders who will abide by their oath and uphold the Constitution - no matter what,' she later tweeted.
Wyoming Republicans DailyMail.com spoke to Tuesday outside Cheyenne's historic Storey Gymnasium had all voted for Hageman - with a lone Democrat saying he chose to stick with his party, and not cross over to bolster Cheney's chances.
Wyoming voters can switch political parties the day of the election. They can also vote at any polling place, but have to show identification.
'Well first of all she should represent her constituents, and she's not clearly - because that's why she's getting voted out - but secondly here's the reality, she didn't grow up in Wyoming,' said 58-year-old Cheyenne resident Roger Forystek, who works in insurance.
Thanks to her father's political career, Cheney split her time between Casper and Washington, D. C.
'And furthermore, she's kind of a spoiled brat, in my opinion. She's a spoiled brat. She's so used to getting her way, when she doesn't, she's throwing a tantrum,' Forystek added.
Tacy West, a 77-year-old from Cheyenne, had an even harsher take.
'She comes from a crime family. It's well known that her father was a leading pedophile,' West told DailyMail.com.
There's no factual basis behind West's comment - Dick Cheney has never been accused of pedophilia.
'She acts crazy. You look at her eyes and she's not there,' West added.
A local pastor, who asked not to be named because of his line of work, told DailyMail.com that his vote for Hageman 'was moreso to spank Cheney.'
'She's being sent to the principal's office,' he said.
Cheney has become the most prominent House Republican critic of Trump - currently serving as vice-chair of the House select committee on January 6.... (Read more)
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