House GOP elects Trump defender Elise Stefanik to No. 3 post

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Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., arrives as House GOP members hold an election for a new chair of the House Republican Conference to replace Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who was ousted from the GOP leadership for criticizing former President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, May 14, 2021. Stefanik is a key Trump ally who was endorsed by Republican leaders. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans have vaulted Rep. Elise Stefanik into the ranks of House leadership. The upstate New York Republican was elected to the party’s No. 3 post on Friday.

She’s an ardent defender of former President Donald Trump. The party hopes Stefanik will help them calm their searing civil war over the deposed Rep. Liz Cheney and her unremitting combat with the former president, who remains potent within the GOP.

Stefanik is a moderate turned Trump loyalist and advocate of many of his false claims about election fraud. She is taking the leadership job that Cheney had held for over two years.

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