Dick Cheney Once Called Trump the Greatest Threat to US Since Its Founding?

Claim:

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said, “In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump.”

Soon after the first presidential debate of the 2024 election, a clip of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney censuring former President Donald Trump went viral. According to social media posts in early July 2024, Cheney — who served in George W. Bush’s administration from 2001 to 2009 — once said: “In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump.” 

The alleged quote appeared on various platforms in early July 2024, including Reddit, where some users seemingly expressed shock that Cheney, a Republican, was anti-Trump. Those posts claimed, “[The] fact that THIS MAN of all people is begging his party to support Biden shows that both sides acknowledge that Trump is a threat to Democracy.” 

The quote is authentic — that is, the video of Cheney saying it is real. But some social media posts highlighting the statement in July 2024 omitted the fact that it was recorded earlier, in 2022, and unrelated to Trump’s 2024 campaign against President Joe Biden. It was erroneous to frame the statement as an endorsement of Biden. Rather, Cheney recorded the video to support the reelection campaign of his daughter, former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney. 

Biden had not launched his 2024 presidential campaign at the time of the video’s recording.

At least one series of posts on X appropriately contextualized the video, however. The account “Republicans Against Trump” posted the video and a reply stating, “The video is from 2022. Donald Trump must never get anywhere near the Oval Office again.” 

Former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney eventually lost to U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, whom Trump supported. The one-minute campaign advertisement is viewable on Liz Cheney’s official YouTube page:

Dick Cheney’s full statement was this (emphasis, ours):

In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump. He tried to steal the last election using lies and violence to keep himself in power after the voters had rejected him. He is a coward. A real man wouldn’t lie to his supporters. He lost his election, and he lost big. I know it. He knows it, and deep down, I think most Republicans know it. Lynne and I are so proud of Liz for standing up for the truth, doing what’s right, honoring her oath to the constitution, which so many in our party are too scared to do so. Liz is fearless, she never backs down from a fight, there is nothing more important she will ever do than lead the effort to make sure Donald Trump is never again near the Oval Office. And she will succeed. I am Dick Cheney, I proudly voted for my daughter, and I hope you will too. 

It was unknown whether Cheney stood by his 2022 quote as of July 2024. Public animosity between Trump and Liz Cheney, however, continued making headlines, with both politicians criticizing each other on social media.

Sources

“2022 Wyoming Primary Election Results.” PBS News, 16 Aug. 2022, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/2022-wyoming-primary-election-results. Accessed July 9, 2024.

“Dick Cheney Calls Trump a “coward” in New TV Ad Supporting Daughter’s Campaign.” CNN, 2022. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9nAnju6Kqw. Accessed July 9, 2024.

“He Knows It.” Liz Cheney, 2022. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6Nq9SpGzic. Accessed July 9, 2024.

“Richard B. Cheney.” Historical Office, https://history.defense.gov/Multimedia/Biographies/Article-View/Article/571284/richard-b-cheney/https%3A%2F%2Fhistory.defense.gov%2FMultimedia%2FBiographies%2FArticle-View%2FArticle%2F571284%2Frichard-b-cheney%2F. Accessed 9 July 2024.

Sullivan, Kate. “Trump Amplifies Posts Calling for Televised Military Tribunal for Liz Cheney | CNN Politics.” CNN, 2 July 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/02/politics/trump-liz-cheney-military-tribunal/index.html. Accessed 9 July 2024.

Ward, Myah. “Dick Cheney Calls Trump a ‘Coward’ in Ad for Daughter’s Reelection.” Politico, 4 Aug. 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/04/dick-cheney-trump-coward-ad-00049944. Accessed July 9, 2024.

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