A reporter covering the in-fighting between the pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party and those in support of Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) was stunned to find the lack of support for Cheney and instead a lot of anger among Wyoming residents.
Politico reporter Tara Palmeri went to Wyoming to see the response to an anti-Cheney rally on Thursday in Cheyenne by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
"I think that they see themselves now on a crusade for Donald Trump," Palmeri said in an interview Friday on MSNBC.
"Donald Trump is way more popular than she is from the people I spoke to, and I actually went out of my way to try to find someone who would defend her, and I couldn't," she added.
Palmeri said that she talked to many people at the rally with Gaetz, but also went out and spoke to others in the community. She found the same message over and over.
"What I heard overwhelmingly from the people that were against her, she did not vote for Wyoming when she voted to impeach, and therefore she has to go," Palmeri said.
Cheney, the No. 3-ranked Republican in the House, was among the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump for a second time after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from confirming the official election results. She has since been the target of criticism from supporters and allies of Trump.
"She didn't have that much name recognition, considering she's a Cheney, like, a lot of people thought she was a Senator or a mayor, and they weren't willing to go out in a primary and vote for her, and the problem is that the people who said they were going to go out and vote for her, were very vehemently against her, and these were the Trump voters' base," said Palmeri.
"I mean, I said her name in a hardware store, and someone shouted a threat," Palmeri added. On her social media account, she said that the threat uttered had been, "hang her."
Palmeri also said that some people refused to talk to her while she wore a mask, and she was very upset that she might have caught the coronavirus because she had to take her mask off with Wyoming residents.
"I might have COVID, for all I know. I dunno. It's crazy," she said.
Palmeri said Cheney needs to get out in her district because "this is a crusade for Trump now."
She went on to say that the residents were repeating talking points from the QAnon conspiracy theory as if they were "gospel," and that this was a bad sign for Cheney's chances in the primary election in 2022.
"If the primary were in 2021, she'd be in a lot of trouble," she concluded.
Here's the emotional interview with Palmeri:
Politico Reporter Shares Her Experience Covering An Anti-Liz Cheney Rally | Deadline | MSNBCwww.youtube.com