Representative Elise Stefanik, campaigning to oust Representative Liz Cheney as the Republican Party’s No. three chief in the House for calling out President Donald J. Trump’s election lies, pitched herself as an unshakable ally of the former president on Thursday, calling him the “strongest supporter of any president when it comes to standing up for the Constitution.”
In her first public interview since saying she would run for Ms. Cheney’s publish amid a drive by Republican leaders to power out the Wyoming lawmaker, Ms. Stefanik, of New York, appeared on Steve Bannon’s “War Room,” a hard-right program run by Mr. Trump’s former strategist, and promised to unite the celebration below the former president’s banner.
“My vision is to run with support from the president and his coalition of voters,” Ms. Stefanik stated, referencing Mr. Trump, including later that she was dedicated to “sending a clear message that we are one team, and that means working with the president and working with all of our excellent Republican members of Congress.”
Ms. Stefanik’s glowing feedback about Mr. Trump captured the distinction between her and Ms. Cheney, who has relentlessly criticized the former president for falsely claiming the election was stolen and beseeched Republican lawmakers — most just lately in a scathing opinion piece on Wednesday — to excise him from the celebration earlier than it collapses into irrelevance.
“Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law,” Ms. Cheney wrote. “No other American president has ever done this.”
In the interview on Thursday, Ms. Stefanik, who voted to overturn the election outcomes on Jan. 6 and has echoed Mr. Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, repeated some of these allegations, citing “unprecedented unconstitutional overreach” from state officers.
“These are questions that are going to have to be answered before we head into the 2022 midterms,” Ms. Stefanik stated of the questions she raised about the legitimacy of President Biden’s victory.
Though Ms. Cheney beat again an effort in February to replace her as convention chair following her vote to impeach Mr. Trump, most Republicans — even her allies — count on her to be stripped of the place as early as subsequent week. Top Republican leaders who backed her earlier this yr have moved to assist Ms. Stefanik.
And many of the celebration’s rank-and-file members, together with some who agree with Ms. Cheney’s caustic assessments of Mr. Trump, say privately which have grown weary of her dedication to proceed publicly repudiating his lies and rebuking members of her personal celebration for his or her function in fueling the falsehoods that impressed the Jan. 6. riot at the Capitol.