Trump to meet with former Cheney ally about Wyoming primary challenge

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Former President Donald Trump is expected to meet Thursday with a new potential challenger to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, his Republican nemesis in the House.

Trump is poised to sit down with Harriet Hageman, a Republican trial attorney who waged an unsuccessful 2018 campaign for governor of Wyoming, according to five people familiar with the matter. The meeting comes as Trump ramps up his effort to unseat Cheney in next year’s GOP primary; the former president has met with several candidates in recent weeks at his Bedminster, N.J. golf club, with an eye toward making an eventual endorsement.

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to back Trump’s impeachment earlier this year, and she has emerged as his chief antagonist in the party.

Hageman declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday evening. A Trump spokesperson declined to comment.

Hageman would be an unconventional candidate should she choose to challenge Cheney. She was a member of Cheney’s leadership team during Cheney’s short-lived 2014 Senate campaign. She has also contributed to Cheney twice: a $500 check in 2013, and one for $1,500 in 2016.

She wrote in a Facebook post on Election Day 2018 that she was “fortunate to be able to spend some time with Congresswoman Liz Cheney this morning, learning more about the challenges we face, as well as the positive steps that have been taken in the last two years to fix Washington D.C.”

As of Wednesday evening, Hageman’s website included a pair of photos of her standing alongside Liz Cheney, including one in which they were joined by the congresswoman’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Hageman finished third in her 2018 gubernatorial campaign, behind now-Gov. Mark Gordon and investor Foster Friess, who had Trump’s backing.

Cheney has drawn several primary challengers, including state Rep. Chuck Gray and attorney Darin Smith, both of whom met with Trump already. The former president has also huddled with state Sen. Bo Biteman and Catharine O’Neill, a former Trump administration official. Neither Biteman nor O’Neill have announced their candidacies.

Trump advisers hope that by endorsing a candidate, Trump can winnow the field of GOP primary challengers and prevent a large field from splitting any anti-Cheney vote too many ways, such that Cheney could win renomination with only a plurality.

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