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Seeking revenge on the ‘disloyal,’ Trump wields endorsement cudgel

Former US President Donald Trump (Photo: EPA-EFE / Oliver Contreras / Pool)

WASHINGTON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Former President Donald Trump has endorsed challengers to five congressional Republicans, part of his effort to assert dominance over the party after losing his November re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump’s fire has been focused on the handful of Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, or to convict him on that charge in a Senate trial that ultimately ended in his acquittal.

Below are notable Republicans that Trump aims to take down through his endorsements:

REPRESENTATIVE LIZ CHENEY

Cheney was the highest-profile lawmaker of the 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Trump for inciting supporters to launch a deadly assault on the Capitol. A U.S. representative for Wyoming since 2017, she was ousted from her role as the No. 3 House Republican following the impeachment vote. A scion of a storied Republican family, Cheney’s father Dick Cheney served as U.S. vice president from 2001 to 2009. In a Sept. 9 statement endorsing Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman https://www.reuters.com/world/us/trump-endorses-challenger-republican-cheney-wyoming-house-race-2021-09-09, who is challenging Cheney, Trump called Cheney “disloyal.”

SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI

The U.S. senator for Alaska was one of seven Republican Senators who voted to convict Trump and remove him from office. The vote failed and Trump was acquitted. Murkowski, known for her long independent streak, is the only one of the seven Republicans up for re-election this year. Trump has endorsed Kelly Tshibaka, a former state administration commissioner, to challenge Murkowski for her seat.

REPRESENTATIVE JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER

The U.S. representative from Washington state not only voted to impeach Trump, she submitted evidence in his Senate trial against the former president. Herrera Beutler said in a statement that the top House Republican, Kevin McCarthy, had told her about a call he had with Trump on Jan. 6, during the riot when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, in which Trump said, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” Trump has endorsed Army veteran Joe Kent’s bid to unseat Herrera Beutler, who has been in Congress since 2011.

REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY GONZALEZ

Gonzalez, a former professional football player and a two-term U.S. representative from Ohio who voted to impeach Trump, has faced backlash from the Ohio Republican Party which in May called on him to resign his seat in Congress. Trump has endorsed former White House aide Max Miller to challenge Gonzalez.

REPRESENTATIVE FRED UPTON

Upton, who has represented Michigan in the House since 1987, was an early critic of Trump’s false claims that he lost the November presidential election due to widespread fraud. Upton said in January his vote for impeachment was to “send a clear message” that the country will not tolerate a president impeding the peaceful transfer of power. Trump has endorsed Michigan state lawmaker Steve Carra’s bid to challenge Upton. (Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)

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