Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz claimed that former President Donald Trump "broke" Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney and criticized her for speaking out against the former President.
Cruz suggested that Cheney is suffering from "Trump derangement syndrome," a pejorative term used to discredit criticism or negative reactions to the former President.
Cruz made the remarks during an appearance on Fox News personality Sean Hannity's program, saying:
"I think she falls into the category of people who Donald Trump just broke, just shattered. She hates Donald Trump so much that it just has overridden everything in her system."
"She's lashing out at Trump and Republicans and everything, and she's become a Democrat, and it's sad to watch what has happened. It is Trump derangement syndrome."
Cheney later responded to Cruz's remarks during an interview with CNN during which she hinted at all the ways Trump has denigrated Cruz.
"I think that uh, Trump broke Ted Cruz. Ted used to say he was a Constitutional conservative. But now he is like, so desperate for political approval that he will even advocate, suggest, secession."
"And I think that a real man would be defending his wife, and his father, and the Constitution."
Cheney's remarks referred, on one hand, to Cruz's decision to object to the certification of President Joe Biden's win in the 2020 election as well as recent reports that he told Texas students that the state would secede in the event it can't stop the United States from "going off the cliff."
They also highlighted the contentious history between Cruz and Trump, including the moment during the 2016 campaign when Trump criticized Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz, by comparing her looks to his wife, Melania, a former model.
Trump also once suggested that Cruz's father may have been involved in the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, claiming that Cruz's father was with Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald "prior to Oswald being, you know, shot."
Many have criticized Cruz and praised Cheney for her remarks.
Cheney angered her own party and was ousted from her leadership position in the House after she pushed back against Trump's falsehoods about the 2020 general election. Trump had issued a statement, more than three months after President Joe Biden took office, calling Biden's victory "the big lie."
Cheney responded shortly afterward with a statement of her own affirming that the election "was not stolen," adding that anyone who says it was is "turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has denied that the successful effort to remove Cheney from her position as the House's third-ranking Republican is in any way related to her vote to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection against Congress.
The claim that Trump "broke" Cheney also doesn't hold water because she came just shy of breaking her own $1.9 million fundraising record, raising $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2021 as she fends off a challenge from Harriet Hageman, an attorney who is running with Trump's endorsement.