Addressing an arena far from filled to capacity, former President Donald Trump referred to “the insurrection hoax” during a rally for Republican Harriet Hageman. Hageman is running in a primary against anti-Trump congresswoman, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
“As one of the leading proponents of the insurrection hoax, Liz Cheney has pushed a grotesquely false, fabricated, hysterical, partisan narrative, and that was the narrative of the day,” he said. Seven people died in connection with the very real attack, according to a bipartisan Senate investigation.
Trump is targeting Cheney’s race likely out of a personal vendetta. Cheney is one of only two Republicans sitting on the panel investigating the Capitol attack. Cheney also voted to impeach Trump following the insurrection. “She has gone crazy… Totally crazy,” Trump said of the congresswoman.
Before Trump took the stage, Hageman addressed the crowd. The candidate warned her supporters that Democrats will “turn the greatest country on earth into a third-world failure.” But one of Hageman’s biggest applause lines came when she said, “We’re fed up with the Jan. 6 commission and those people who think they can gaslight us,” one in a long list of right-wing conservative complaints that ended with, “We’re fed up with Liz Cheney.”
Hageman: We’re fed up with the January 6th commission and those people who think they can gaslight us pic.twitter.com/nwOFXn090x
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 28, 2022
Trump targeted Cheney multiple times throughout the speech, at times invoking her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, in his attacks. “The Cheneys along with George Bush didn’t even pardon Scooter Libby… You know who did? I did. … I gave Scooter Libby a pardon. They couldn’t do it, wouldn’t do it,” he said, adding, “Scooter Libby got screwed.” Libby is Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, convicted for lying to the FBI during the investigation into who leaked CIA officer Valerie Plame’s name to the media. (Libby, however, appears to have no hard feelings toward the congresswoman, having donated to Cheney’s 2022 campaign.)
Trump again tried to tie Liz Cheney to her father by showing a manipulated image of the congresswoman with George W. Bush’s face. The image had been shown to the crowd earlier in the day. “The Cheneys have never met a war they didn’t like,” Trump said before the image came up on the screen, purporting that when he was in office, “We were respected. Nobody was going to war with us. We didn’t have to go to war for people to know we were the toughest and the strongest.”
At Donald Trump’s rally in Casper, Wyoming, a portrait of Liz Cheney morphed with a portrait of George W. Bush is displayed above the crowd. Asked to explain, a Trump aide tells @NYMag, “What? Liz Send-Your-Children-To-War Cheney!” pic.twitter.com/0OV6AmphNj
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) May 28, 2022
Throughout the speech, Trump kept returning to the subject of Jan. 6. “Now you look at the so-called word insurrection. Jan. 6. What a lot of crap. What a lot of crap,” Trump said. But the word insurrection is defined as a “a violent uprising against an authority or government,” which certainly seems apt. But not according to Trump, who said the insurrection is “another con job just like Russia, Russia, Russia.” “This was made up by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, a total fake story,” he said. The former president then claimed he has been investigated more than Al Capone and a list of other infamous criminals in history.
“Don’t forget: I’ve been investigated more than Billy the Kid, Jesse James, and the great legendary mobster Alphonse Capone, did anyone ever hear of him? Al Capone,” Trump said. “If you add them all up and double them and triple them, I’ve taken the cake for investigations.”
Trump: Now you look at the so called word insurrection. January 6th. What a lot of crap. It’s another con job just like Russia Russia Russia pic.twitter.com/u8bJLBFXri
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 28, 2022
Trump took a brief break from bashing Cheney to brag about the size of the crowd at the rally preceding the Jan. 6 attack and claim that the Mueller investigation was the greatest coup attempt in U.S. history.
Trump is in Wyoming trashing LIz Cheney and bragging about his crowd size on January 6 pic.twitter.com/xrrV4mUI3C
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 28, 2022
More than an hour-and-a-half into the speech, after he thoroughly attacked his political opponents and boasted about his tweets, Trump spared a few sentences, but nothing more, for the victims of the Uvalde shooting. “Before we nation build around the world we should be building safe schools for our own children, in our own nation, and in our own towns,” Trump said, suggesting that somehow buildings can prevent shootings better than gun reform. The Wyoming rally came the day after Trump’s appearance at a National Rifle Association convention where he read the names of the Uvalde school shooting victims and concluded the speech with a dance.