OYoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney and Trump-endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman traded barbs during the 2020 election and Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill during a debate Thursday night.
On the debate stage featuring Cheney and his four main Cheyenne opponents, the political scion — who has come under fire from her GOP colleagues for her criticisms of Trump and her participation in the Jan. 6 select committee — defended her participation in the panel investigating the Capitol riot, calling on Hageman to state whether she thinks the election was stolen. Cheney noted that Hageman’s political adviser Bill Stepien, who previously worked on the Trump campaign, testified before the panel investigating the riot that he did not believe there was widespread fraud.
“I would be interested to know whether or not my opponent, Mrs. Hageman, is prepared to say here tonight that the election was not stolen? She knows it wasn’t stolen. I think she can’t say it wasn’t stolen because she’s totally indebted to Donald Trump,’ she said. “And if she says it wasn’t stolen, he won’t support her. So we have to be honest, we have to be truthful – elected officials in particular, civil servants, owe it to the people we represent. »
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Hageman fired back defending Trump, arguing there were questions about election integrity, citing Dinesh D’Souza’s debunked film 2000 slippers and alleging Mark Zuckerberg’s nonprofit may have played a role in the election outcome.
“We are not a democracy, we are a republic. Our republic is not in danger because of President Donald J. Trump. … The greatest threat to our republic is the current administration and the corruption of our institutions” , she said.
“The press and some people are obsessed with January 6. Over 30,000 miles of campaign travel across Wyoming, the only time the J6 situation comes up is when people talk about the injustice of everything this committee. … They’re focusing on something that happened 18 months ago, they’re not focusing on issues that are important to the people of Wyoming.
Cheney criticized his chief opponent’s remarks, arguing that Hageman’s rhetoric surrounding the 2020 election is no different from what led to former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani being suspended from practicing law.
“Ms. Hageman’s claims about the 2020 election are the same for which the president’s lead counsel, Rudy Giuliani, was disbarred,” she said.
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Trump has made Cheney – who has become one of his most prominent critics and hasn’t ruled out running for president in 2023 – his top target, after staging a rally to spur Hageman the month last.
As Cheney’s criticism of the former president led to her ousting as the No. 3 House Republican and left her facing an uphill battle to retain her House seat in Cowboy State, she said she stands by her position.
“I ask for your vote, and I ask you to understand that I will never violate my oath of office, and if you are looking for someone who will, then you must vote for someone else on this stage because I won’t,” she said. “I will always put my oath first.”