Donald Trump reportedly enjoyed watching New York Sen. Elise Stefanik defend him, but reportedly doesn’t trust the third House Republican to replace U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney as chair of the 2021 House Republican Conference .
A profile of the rising Republican The New York Times reports that Ms. Stefanik has earned a reputation for her diligence “in advancing the party’s message” and her “unabashedly transactional” relationships to win support as she moves into the lower house of Congress.
But sources close to the former president said The times that any stories giving her as a “possible mate [to Trump] they are considered clumsy plants by their own group and inspire uproar and ridicule.’
“Trump liked her, they said, and he liked to see her defend him. But he didn’t trust her either,” according to the report.
The times chronicles the rapid rise of Ms. Stefanik, a staunch supporter of the former president, from a relatively moderate to a prominent figure on the far-right side of the Republican Party with a self-described “super-MAGA” agenda, embracing Mr. Trump’s baseless narrative of election fraud and embracing conspiracy theories that appeal to a reactionary base.
Before he made his 2024 bid official, he was among the few high-ranking Republicans to endorse Trump.
“Republican voters determine who the leader of the Republican Party is, and it’s very clear that President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party,” he said in November.
It’s worth noting that Ms. Stefanik also reportedly once called Mr. Trump a “bad job.”
On New Year’s Eve, as Republicans prepare for their slim majority in the House of Representatives after their midterm election victories, he has also vowed political retaliation against President Joe Biden’s administration.
“For the past two years, the American people have suffered from crisis after crisis due to failed one-party rule by Democrats in Washington,” he tweeted. When members of Congress are sworn in this week, “that’s OVER,” he said.
Fellow New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also criticized Ms Stefanik after the profile was published. He pointed to the characterization of the Republican’s alleged annoyance that the Democratic representative “hadn’t shown her the respect that she felt she was due,” fueling in part Ms. Stefanik’s descent to the right.
“What is it with people randomly blaming the mere existence of others for their own descent into neo-Nazism? As a girl, you did it yourself,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Dec. 31. “Unless her proposal is here, she started espousing the grand replacement theory because she couldn’t treat me like help.”
Ms Stefanik and other Republican officials have come under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the May 2022 racist massacre in Buffalo, New York, for echoing similar “grand replacement theory” claims that fueled the attack.
Her campaign ran a series of Facebook ads in September 2021, arguing that Democratic officials are allowing immigrants into the U.S. in an effort to outnumber and ultimately vote Republicans, a tenet of white supremacy.
“The Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION REBELLION,” one of the ads said. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overturn our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”