McConnell Donates to Cheney’s Campaign, Setting Up GOP Battle With Trump

(The Conservative Brief) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proxy battle against Donald Trump moved forward again this week after a report noted he gave money to a House candidate who voted to impeach the former president.

According to Axios, the Kentucky Republican donated to the reelection campaign of Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who is currently underwater against Trump-backed GOP primary challenger and attorney Harriet Hageman.

Cheney, who is no longer recognized as a member of the party by the Wyoming GOP, is badly trailing Hageman in polling.

In January, for instance, Hageman easily bested the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney in a straw poll which was conducted by the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee, garnering 59 votes.

Cheney finished an extremely distant second with just a half-dozen votes.

The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has been a thorn in Trump’s side for more than a year, having criticized him while in office and then blaming him for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building. She further inflamed tensions with Trump when she voted with 10 other House Republicans to impeach him and then agree to co-chair the committee assembled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to investigate the origins of the riot.

She joined the panel along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois who won office as a Tea Party-backed candidate but who also criticized Trump and voted to impeach after the riot. His district has been realigned and rather than face a tough reelection campaign, Kinzinger has decided to call it quits this year.

But the Cheney-Hageman battle, more broadly, appears to be shaping up to be a major political proxy war, with so-called ‘establishment’ Republicans lining up behind Cheney and ‘America-First’ conservatives siding with Trump and Hageman, as Breitbart News notes:

McConnell and Cheney apparently believe the Wyoming member may lose her seat to Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman, a strong threat to the establishment Republican order in Washington, DC. With Hageman catching momentum heading into the August 16 GOP primary, former President George Bush has also donated the legal maximum amount to Cheney. McConnell and Bush are joined in their support of Cheney by failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R-UT). In March, Romney delivered a speech at a closed fundraiser for the embattled Cheney.

Hageman has earned the support of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

McCarthy’s support of Hageman came with a massive fundraiser with powerful MAGA heavy hitters. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Jim Banks (R-IN), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), among others, co-hosted the fundraising event.

Late last month, Stefanik, who was elected to replace Cheney as head of the House Republican Conference, the No. 3 party position in the chamber, declared that it was time for the Wyoming lawmaker to be sent packing.

Speaking to the Daily Caller, Stefanik said she has endorsed Cheney’s primary opponent Hageman as well.

“It was very clear that Liz Cheney lost the support of her colleagues in Congress by epic proportions just like she’s going to lose the support of her constituents in Wyoming,” Stefanik said.

“You’re not entitled to these positions in elected office,” Stefanik added. “You are elected by your constituents and in the case of leadership, you’re elected by your colleagues.”

“The American people are far more important than Liz Cheney and as an elected official, you should never forget that – that the American people are the most important voices in our constitutional republic,” Stefanik said. “When you forget that, it’s time you’re out of elected office.”