Former President Donald Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., have come out in support of Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., replacing Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as chair of the House Republican conference, Axios reports.
Trump said in a statement that "Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership. Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!"
Scalise, through a spokesperson, said that "House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President Biden's radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair."
Stefanik, who represents a moderate district in New York compared to Cheney's largely conservative district in Wyoming, actually voted with Trump less often than Cheney did during his time in office. The New York Republican voted with Trump 77.7% of the time, while Cheney voted with him 92% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight's "Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump," tool.
And although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has not released a statement supporting Stefanik, he was overheard on tape saying that he's "lost confidence" in Cheney and has "had it with her," in an off-air conversation with Fox News host Steve Doocy.
"I think she's got real problems," McCarthy said before his interview on "Fox and Friends" on Tuesday, according to Axios. "I've had it with ... I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence. ... Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place."
He told the news outlet last month that the "idea that you just disregard President Trump is not where we are, and, frankly, he has a lot to offer still."
McCarthy said in the interview that aired: "There's no concern about how she voted" to impeach Trump, "that decision has been made. I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair to carry out the message. We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given. They are earned. And that's about the message about going forward, combating Joe Biden."
Cheney said in response to McCarthy's public comments that "This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan. 6. Liz will not do that. That is the issue."
The Wall Street Journal reports that House Republicans are preparing to hold a second vote to remove Cheney from her leadership post, after she survived the first last February.
"Liz will have more to say in the coming days. This moment is about much more than a House leadership fight," a spokesperson for Cheney said on Wednesday.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.