Cheney, the number three House Republican in leadership, has been pilloried by some of her GOP colleagues in the chamber for voting to impeach Trump earlier this month. Cheney, a vocal Republican critic of Trump’s foreign policy during his tenure in the White House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was the most high profile of the 10 Republicans who joined all 222 House Democrats in voting to impeach the president. The vast majority of House Republicans – 197 of the 211 in the chamber, voted against impeachment.
"I’m coming to talk about the failed leadership of Liz Cheney within our party and the failed policies that she advocates for," Gaetz said on Monday as he previewed his Wyoming trip with reporters.
The congressman argued that "in the wake of the Biden presidency, the Republican Party establishment is trying to wrangle the conservative movement back under their control and they want the GOP to look and sound like Liz Cheney. I have a competing vision for Republicanism and I intend to showcase it by going after the ‘America Last’ politicians in both parties."
Taking to Twitter over the weekend, Gaetz denied that he was seeking Cheney’s leadership position.
"I do not want her job. I unequivocally am not seeking a position in House Leadership. I also know Wyoming can do better," he tweeted.
The event caught the eye of the former president’s son – Donald Trump Jr. – who tweeted "Can’t join in person, but can I Skype in or call?"
And Sergio Gor, a top adviser on Trump’s unsuccessful 2020 re-election campaign who previously worked for Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, tweeted that Gaetz was heading to Wyoming "to highlight the failed policies advocated by @Liz_Cheney! Her impeachment vote should disqualify her from representing Wyoming & @HouseGOP!"
Gaetz, a former Florida state lawmaker from the state’s panhandle region who was first elected to Congress in 2016, has been taking aim at Cheney since her impeachment vote.
"By embracing the language and the arguments of the radical left instead of the America First movement, Liz Cheney is spitting into the eyes of tens of millions of Americans," Gaetz charged last week as he tweeted out a video clip of his interview on Fox Business’ "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
More than half of House Republican members are backing an effort to remove Cheney from her leadership role.
Gaetz highlighted on Monday that "the principal job of the Conference Chair is to carry the message of their fellow Republicans and most of the members of the Republican Conference don’t believe that Liz Cheney speaks for them. So it is untenable for her to remain in the position of Conference Chair when you have most of the Republican Conference saying in conversations with colleagues that she does not speak for our team."
Gaetz also reiterated that "I do not want to be the Conference Chair" and didn’t’ say who he would favor to replace Cheney.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has given tepid support to Cheney, telling reporters late last week that he didn’t support her removal from her leadership position.
But in an interview this weekend on "Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren," McCarthy said "look, I support her, but I also have concerns. She took a position as a number three member in the conference, she never told me ahead of time."
Cheney has pushed back from the criticism, saying that "I’m not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience," she told Politico a week and a half ago. "It’s one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the Civil War, constitutional crisis."
A Cheney spokesperson - taking aim at Gaetz - on Monday told Fox News that "Rep. Gaetz can leave his beauty bag at home. In Wyoming, the men don't wear make up."
Responding a couple of hours later, Gaetz told reporters that "when I’m offering a critique of a political figure or a worldview, I don’t have to go through a spokesperson. I level my charge directly and I’m going to Wyoming to do just that."
Asked if he was coordinating his trip with the former president or his top aides, Gaetz noted that "I have not spoken with the president since his departure from Washington but it is my understanding that he is very encouraging of my efforts."
And he added that "I speak regularly with many members of the Trump family. I’ve shared with them that I’m going to Wyoming and received nothing but encouragement."
Cheney is already facing at least one primary challenge in Wyoming. Last week Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard announced that he would challenge Cheney for Wyoming’s sole House seat. He said that his campaign was triggered by Cheney’s "long-time opposition to President Trump and her most recent vote for Impeachment."
Bouchard grabbed plenty of national media attention after launching his primary challenge, including an interview late last week on Fox News’ "The Ingraham Angle."
Bouchard touted on Saturday that "we've now raised over $63,000 in the fight to beat Liz Cheney."
Meanwhile, three GOP county organizations in Wyoming have censured Cheney for her impeachment vote.
But Cheney retains plenty of support in the state. On Monday 30 Wyoming lawyers and judges - including three of the state's former governors, two former state Supreme Court justices, and a former state attorney general, joined in an op-ed in the Casper Star-Tribune commending Cheney for following her constitutional duty.