Congresswoman Liz Cheney taunted her top political enemy, former President Donald Trump, in a tweet after Mr Trump and his spokeswoman both attacked Ms Cheney last week.
Sharing a photo of former President George W Bush, who also found himself a target of Mr Trump’s criticism last week, Ms Cheney quipped on Sunday: “I like Republican presidents who win re-election.”
The tweet was the latest in a back-and-forth that erupted last week when Mr Trump rebuked his predecessor, Mr Bush, for endorsing the daughter of his former vice president, Dick Cheney, as she attempts to fend off a Trump-backed primary challenge that Mr Trump is supporting. Mr Trump is using the opportunity to try to exact revenge against Republicans who broke with the party and supported his impeachment after the attack on the US Capitol.
Mr Trump originally fired off a statement on Wednesday accusing Mr Bush of being a “RINO”, meaning “Republican In Name Only”, and criticising him for launching the US invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
“RINO former President George ‘Dubya’ Bush and his flunky Karl Rove are endorsing warmongering and very low polling, Liz Cheney. Bush is the one who got us into the quicksand of the Middle East and, after spending trillions of dollars and killing nearly a million people, the Middle East was left in worse shape after 21 years than it was when he started his stupidity,” Mr Trump said.
His spokeswoman, Liz Harrington, upped the attacks on Twitter the same day by sharing a bizarre Photoshopped image of Ms Cheney with Mr Bush’s face superimposed over her own.
Ms Cheney has been one of Mr Trump’s most vocal opponents in the Republican Party since the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. She now faces a primary challenge from trial attorney Harriet Hageman, a former supporter of the congresswoman and failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate who came in third place in the state’s GOP primary that year.
In addition to voting for impeachment, the Wyoming congresswoman is one of two Republican members remaining on the House’s select committee to investigate the 6 January Capitol riot. Ms Cheney is the vice chair of the committee.
In an interview with CNN earlier this month, Ms Hageman echoed the false claims Mr Trump has made about widespread fraud taking place during the 2020 election and declined to say whether she believed that President Joe Biden was the legitimate winner.
Mr Trump has warred with the wing of the GOP represented by Mr Bush and other members of his administration since before taking office in 2017, and famously battled with Mr Bush’s brother Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, onstage during debates in the 2016 Republican primary over the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ms Cheney has suffered politically for opposing the former president’s false claims regarding the 2020 election and was earlier this year ousted from her position as House Republican Conference Chair in a vote that led to Rep Elise Stefanik of New York claiming the role.