WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., warned Monday that if Donald Trump is elected president next year for a second term, he will try to remain in power beyond those four years.
“There’s no question,” Cheney said about that possibility in an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show with host Savannah Guthrie in advance of the release Tuesday of her book, “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning.”
Asked if she believes Trump would try to stay in power forever, Cheney said, “Absolutely. He’s already done it once,” referring to his efforts after the 2020 presidential election to overturn Joe Biden’s victory and to stop its certification on Jan. 6, 2021.
The U.S. could become a dictatorship if Trump is re-elected, Cheney warned. “I think it’s a very, very real threat and concern. And I don’t say any of that lightly and frankly, it’s painful for me as someone who has spent her whole life in Republican politics, who grew up as a Republican to watch what’s happening to my party and to watch the extent to which Donald Trump himself has basically determined that the only thing that matters is him, his power and his success.”
Cheney said it’s “naive” for Americans to think the country would survive another Trump presidency. She argued that Americans cannot count on a House led by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to stop Trump or a Senate whose members include Republicans Josh Hawley, of Missouri, or Mike Lee, of Utah.
Asked what would happen if Trump tried to overturn the election again with Johnson as House speaker, Cheney said it’s “too dangerous to even contemplate going down that path” because, she said, they all had a “practice run” in 2020 and 2021.
Cheney suggested it would be safer for the country for Democrats to take control of the House, saying emphatically that Johnson and the Republicans currently serving there cannot be in the majority in 2025, especially if it has to determine the outcome of the presidential election.
“I think what we have seen is that you cannot count on this group of elected Republicans to uphold their oath,” she said.
Cheney repeated that she would “never vote for Donald Trump” and that she would “do whatever it takes to make sure that Donald Trump is defeated in 2024.” Asked if that means she would vote for Biden, she repeated, “I will do whatever it takes.”
“A vote for Donald Trump may mean the last election that you ever get to vote in,” she warned. “A vote for Donald Trump is a vote against the Constitution.”
The former congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney said she would see how the presidential race unfolds over the next couple of months before deciding if she would try to launch her own White House bid.