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EXCLUSIVE: An outside group chaired by Donald Trump Jr. is going up with a three-week long ad blitz in Wyoming in support of Harriet Hageman, the Republican congressional candidate who with former President Donald Trump’s backing is primary challenging GOP Rep. Liz Cheney.
“For far too long, Liz Cheney has bowed to the Democrat elites like Nancy Pelosi,” the younger Trump charges in the new commercial, which was shared first with Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “That’s why my father endorse Harriet Hageman for Congress. Hageman will defend our border and our Constitution.”
“That’s why I’m joining President Donald Trump to officially Harriet Hageman for Congress. She’s the congresswoman Wyoming deserves,” Trump Jr. emphasizes in the spot.
The younger Trump is honorary chair of Wyoming Values PAC, the organization behind the ad.
The group has previously gone up with billboards across the state taking aim at Cheney – a vocal anti-Trump Republican — and supporting Hageman. But this is Protect Wyoming Values’ first TV commercial, and the group says it will spend half a million dollars — a large sum in Wyoming’s inexpensive media markets — to run the spot leading up to the former president’s May 28 rally with Hageman in Casper, Wyoming.
The PAC is steered by Republican consultants Andy Surabian and James Blair, who are both veterans of the former president’s 2020 reelection campaign. Surabian, who’s also a leading political adviser for Trump Jr., argued that “unlike Cheney, Harriet Hageman will fight for Wyoming’s conservative values and will lead the charge in Washington against Biden, Pelosi and the radical left.”
Cheney was the most senior of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the then-president on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol. The attack was waged by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of President Biden‘s Electoral College victory in the 2020 election.
Cheney, a conservative lawmaker and defense hawk who is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, immediately came under verbal attack from Trump and his allies, and last May she was ousted from her number-three House GOP leadership position.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters after House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership post as chair of the House Republican Conference because of her repeated criticism of former President Donald Trump for his false claims of election fraud and his role in instigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) ( (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta))
Cheney, who has been very vocal in emphasizing the importance of defending the nation’s democratic process and of putting country before party, is one of only two Republicans serving on a special select committee organized by House Democrats to investigate the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump, stepping up his efforts to oust Cheney from Congress, endorsed Hageman as she entered the race last summer. And the former president and his allies successfully urged some, but not all, of the other anti-Cheney candidates to drop out of the primary and coalesce around Hageman. The highest profile of those staying in the race is state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, a strong supporter of the former president.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) in February, in a push by Trump allies, censured Cheney over her role on the Jan. 6 committee. Defending herself, the congresswoman said at the time, “I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump.”
Cheney caught a break in March when the Wyoming legislature decided against scrapping same-day party registration in primaries, which would have prevented Democrats from crossing party lines and registering as Republicans to vote for Cheney in the state’s Aug. 16 primary. The move by Wyoming’s legislature was seen as a defeat for Trump and his allies, who pushed to end same-day party registration.
Republican congressional candidate Harriet Hageman speaks with voters at an Albany County GOP breakfast in Laramie, Wyoming, on Jan. 8, 2022 (Harriet hageman congressional campaign)
Trump’s rally in Wyoming will precede a month when Cheney is expected to grab plenty of media attention, as the select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol is scheduled to hold at least eight hearings in June.
Trump’s repeated attacks on Cheney have fueled her fundraising.
Cheney hauled in $2.94 million in the January-March first quarter of 2022 fundraising as she runs for her fourth two-year term representing Wyoming’s at large House district.
The congresswoman reported holding a formidable $6.8 million cash on hand in her campaign coffers as of the end of March.
Wyoming’s primary will be held on Aug. 16.