Former US Representative Liz Cheney has not ruled out running for president in 2024, following her exile from the Republican Party for her criticism of Donald Trump and his lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Ms Cheney, who represented Wyoming in the House from 2017 until earlier this year, faced the wrath of her GOP colleagues in Congress and Republicans in her home state, where she was censured for voting to impeach the former president.
In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union on 22 October, she described Mr Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, as “the single most dangerous threat that we face” and pledged to spend the next year “helping to elect serious people, helping to elect sane people” from both parties.
“But you’re not ruling out a presidential run?” Mr Tapper asked.
“No, I’m not,” she said.
Ms Cheney was one of only nine Republican representatives who joined Democrats in a vote to impeach Mr Trump for his role in the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021.
House Republicans ousted Ms Cheney from leadership after she condemned GOP officials for amplifying Mr Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen which had fuelled the Capitol rioters.
She was also one of only two Republicans on a House select committee investigating the Jan 6 attack and a multi-state effort to subvert election results. That committee ultimately voted to refer Mr Trump and others to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.
Despite winning her third term with nearly 70 per cent of the vote, Ms Cheney faced several GOP primary challengers and lost the primary in 2022. She received only 28 per cent of the vote in last year’s race.
“We could well find ourselves in a situation, given what we know the Trump folks are doing in terms of attempting to question the results of the election – we don’t want a situation where the election is thrown into the House of Representatives, and Donald Trump has any possibility at all of prevailing under those circumstances,” she told CNN on Sunday.
“So we’ve got to elect people who believe in the Constitution and take their responsibilities seriously to Congress,” she added.
Mr Trump “cannot be the next president,” she said.
“If he is, all of the things he attempted to do, but was stopped from doing by responsible people around him at the [Justice Department], at the White House counsel’s office, all of those things he will do,” Ms Cheney said.
“There will be no guardrails,” she added.
Ms Cheney’s latest comments follow chaos in the Republican-controlled House, where lawmakers are scrambling to vote for a new House Speaker three weeks after ousting Kevin McCarthy and repeatedly failing to rally around a successor.
She blamed the disarray on Mr McCarthy, who was “looking the other way in the face of the kind of assault on our democracy that we’ve seen from Donald Trump and his allies in the House, including Jim Jordan,” she told CNN.
Mr Jordan was among the most prolific and vocal Republican lawmakers supporting efforts to overturn 2020 election results. He repeatedly failed this week to rally support among his GOP colleagues for House Speaker.
Mr Trump, meanwhile, faces a federal trial on charges connected to an alleged criminal conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.
He also is charged in a parallel criminal case in Georgia for his alleged efforts to subvert that state’s election results. The former president has pleaded not guilty in both cases.