Republicans pick Trump loyalist Stefanik to replace ousted Cheney

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Republicans Pick Trump Loyalist Stefanik To Replace Ousted Cheney
Elise Stefanik, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Alan Fram and Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

Trump loyalist Elise Stefanik has been elected to the post of conference chair for the Republican Party in the United States’ House of Representatives.

The New York state congresswoman replaces Liz Cheney, who had been vocal in her criticism of Donald Trump, the former president.

The move is seen as a bid to heal a civil war in the Republican Party between followers of Mr Trump and moderates.

Ms Stefanik, 36, although seen as a moderate, had repeated many of the former president’s claims about election fraud.


Liz Cheney (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

She came to prominence in 2019 when she strongly defended Mr Trump during his first impeachment trial.

The Republicans booted Ms Cheney out of her job this week for rebuking Mr Trump for encouraging supporters who attacked the US Capitol building on January 6 and for his claim about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

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Ms Cheney has said she will continue to lambast Mr Trump, who remains potent within the party, and would work to defeat him should he mount a 2024 bid to return to the White House.

Ms Stefanik is now number three in the party’s leadership in the House of Representatives behind minority leader Kevin McCarthy and his deputy, Steve Scalise.

After the vote, she told reporters: “Voters determine the leader of the Republican Party, and President Trump is the leader that they look to.

“He is an important voice in the Republican Party and we look forward to working with him.”

Mr Trump issued a statement congratulating Ms Stefanik, adding: “The House GOP is united and the Make America Great Again movement is Strong!”

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