First on CNN: Cheney says he will support Trump

Updated 5:44 AM EDT, Sat May 7, 2016
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Story highlights

Cheney told CNN Special Correspondent Jamie Gangel that he has always supported the GOP nominee

The announcement makes Cheney one of the few Republican Party elders to announce their support of Trump

(CNN) —  

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will support Donald Trump, he told CNN Friday, an important move as the presumptive Republican nominee is encountering intense resistance from senior members of his own party.

Cheney told CNN Special Correspondent Jamie Gangel that he has always supported the GOP nominee and will do so this year as well.

The announcement makes Cheney one of the few Republican Party elders to announce their support of Trump and comes a day after House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNN he is “just not ready” to back Trump.

Former President George W. Bush, who Cheney served, said this week he would skip this summer’s Republican convention where Trump will be formally nominated. Former President George H.W. Bush and John McCain and Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2008 and 2012 nominees, also don’t plan to attend the convention.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, said Friday he would sit this election out because he can’t bring himself to vote for either Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Graham said he was a “little bit” surprised when informed by CNN’s Dana Bash that Cheney was supporting Trump.

“Dick Cheney’s a great man. We see the world a lot alike when it comes to foreign policy. I can understand when people want to support the nominee of the Republican Party. I would like to be able to do that, but I just can’t,” Graham said. “Maybe I’m the outlier here. Probably am. There’ll be Democrats who can’t support Hillary Clinton, and you know some of them will hold their nose and vote for her. Some of them will do it enthusiastically.”