Former Rep. Liz Cheney said in multiple interviews published Tuesday that she is considering a third-party presidential run in order to stop former President Donald Trump from winning a second White House bid next year.
The ex-Wyoming congresswoman, an outspoken Trump critic who lost her primary reelection bid in 2022 after serving as vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, vowed to do “whatever it takes” to stop the former president from returning to the Oval Office.
“Several years ago, I would not have contemplated a third-party run,” she told the Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday. “I happen to think democracy is at risk at home, obviously, as a result of Donald Trump’s continued grip on the Republican Party, and I think democracy is at risk internationally as well."
Separately, Cheney told USA Today that she believes “the situation that we’re in is so grave, and the politics of the moment require independents and Republicans and Democrats coming together in a way that can help form a new coalition, so that may well be a third-party option.”
Both interviews were in promotion of her new book, “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning,” which released Tuesday. Cheney emerged as one of Trump’s fiercest critics in the Republican Party following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Her criticism of Trump led to her being voted out of her leadership position in the House GOP conference and later losing her seat entirely.
Cheney told the Washington Post that she will make a final decision about running in the next few months.
"We face threats that could be existential to the United States and we need a candidate who is going to be able to deal with and address and confront all of those challenges,” Cheney told the Post. “That will all be part of my calculation as we go into the early months of 2024."
The Wyoming Republican has been sounding the alarm about Trump's threats to democracy in recent interviews. On Sunday, Cheney said the country is “sleepwalking” toward a dictatorship if it reelects Trump.
“He's told us what he will do,” Cheney told CBS News’ “Sunday Morning.” “It's very easy to see the steps that he will take. … People who say, ‘Well, if he's elected, it's not that dangerous because we have all of these checks and balances,’ don't fully understand the extent to which the Republicans in Congress today have been co-opted. … One of the things that we see happening today is a sort of a sleepwalking into dictatorship in the United States.”
The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination by a wide margin, Trump has been running on promises of using federal authorities to prosecute his political enemies and expanding the role of the military within the U.S. Meanwhile, he faces criminal charges over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which he continues to falsely claim was plagued by widespread fraud.
“If you look at what Donald Trump is trying to do, he can't do it by himself,” Cheney said. “He has to have collaborators. And the story of [House Speaker] Mike Johnson is a story of a collaborator and of someone who knew then — and knows now — that what he's doing and saying is wrong, but he's willing to do it in an effort to please Donald Trump. And that's what makes it dangerous.”
Asked if Johnson was a collaborator in trying to overthrow the last presidential election, Cheney said, “Absolutely.”
Following the 2020 election, Johnson emailed House Republicans urging them to sign an amicus brief in support of a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results in swing states.
“I believe very strongly in those principles and ideals that have defined the Republican Party, but the Republican Party of today has made a choice, and they haven’t chosen the Constitution,” Cheney added. “And so I do think it presents a threat if the Republicans are in the majority in January 2025.”
Neither the Trump campaign nor Johnson’s office has responded to emails from Spectrum News seeking comment.
And when asked if she's rooting for Democratic victories next year, Cheney replied: "I believe very strongly in those principles and ideals that have defined the Republican party, but the Republican party of today has made a choice, and they haven’t chosen the constitution."
"I do think it presents a threat if the Republicans are in the majority in January 2025," she added.
Spectrum News' Ryan Chatelain contributed to this report.