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Donald Trump defender Elise Stefanik replaces his critic Liz Cheney

Republicans elected Elise Stefanik, middle, a defender of former President Donald Trump, right, two days after ousting Trump critic Liz Cheney, left, from GOP conference chair (Reuters/Getty Images/AP)

An ardent defender of former President Donald Trump, Representative Elise Stefanik, has been elected into the No. 3 Republican leadership role after Trump critic Liz Cheney’s ouster.

House Republicans in a 134-46 secret ballot vote on Friday morning elevated Stefanik to conference chair to replace Cheney, who relentlessly criticized the 45th president. The New York congresswoman sailed to victory over conservative challenger Representative Chip Roy two days after the GOP conference swiftly removed Cheney on a voice vote.

After her win, Stefanik thanked Trump, who endorsed her and slammed Cheney, and called him ‘a critical part of our Republican team’.

Stefanik in a statement said she was ‘truly honored and humbled’ to earn her colleagues’ support and called for unity within the GOP against Democratic leadership.

‘House Republicans are united in our focus to fight on behalf of the American people to save our country from the radical Socialist Democrat agenda of President Biden and Nancy Pelosi,’ Stefanik stated.

Trump issued a brief, rejoicing statement conveying that his support base is alive and well.

‘Congratulations to Elise Stefanik for her Big and Overwhelming victory!’ Trump stated. ‘The House GOP is united and the Make America Great Again movement is Strong!’

Stefanik, a fourth-term congresswoman, drew national attention in 2019 when she vehemently opposed Trump’s first impeachment trial.

On the contrary, Cheney was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump a second time over the January 6 Capitol riot. After being voted on Wednesday, Cheney vowed to ‘do everything I can to ensure that the former President never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office’.

Cheney, who remains a Republican in Congress, has said she is ‘absolutely’ running for reelection in the House next year.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) reacted to Stefanik’s promotion by calling the GOP a ‘dumpster fire’.

‘Elise Stefanik’s win today makes clear there is no place for truth in today’s Republican Party,’ DNC spokeswoman Adonna Biel told Fox News. ‘While the Republican Party has completed its transformation to the party of Donald Trump, President Biden and Democrats are delivering for Americans, rebuilding after the pandemic, and getting us back on track.’

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