Republican representatives elected New York lawmaker Elise Stefanik to a party leadership role, elevating a member staunchly loyal to Donald Trump after purging a congresswoman who was critical of the ex-president.
In an internal party vote on Friday, U.S. Congressional Republicans picked a representative fiercely loyal to Donald Trump for a leadership role, replacing another who'd voiced unvarnished criticism of the former president.
"I also want to thank President Trump for his support, he is a critical part of our Republican team." New York Representative Elise Stefanik was once seen as a moderate, but swung decisively toward the divisive former president, loudly defending him at his first impeachment trial.
Her elevation to serve as House Republican Conference Chair signals Trump's enduring grip on the party.
She replaces Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, who broke ranks after a violent mob of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in January.
Chaney blamed Trump for the deadly riot, and for spreading the baseless claims of election fraud that inspired it.
She was ejected from her position earlier this week, but did not relent.
"We cannot have a former president spreading lies." Republicans on Friday cheered Stefanik's victory as a sign of party unity heading into the 2022 midterm elections.