Former President Trump on Monday increased pressure on House Republicans to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her No. 3 leadership position and “upgrade” to Rep. Elise Stefanik when the conference votes on it later this week.
“The House GOP has a massive opportunity to upgrade this week from warmonger Liz Cheney to gifted communicator Elise Stefanik,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.
The Republican conference is set to hold a vote Wednesday on removing Ms. Cheney, Wyoming Republican, from her leadership post because of her continued criticism of the former president.
Ms. Stefanik is favored to replace her as the Republican Conference chair.
In his statement, Mr. Trump praised Ms. Stefanik, New York Republican, as having the backing of the National Border Patrol Council, a strong record on gun rights and helping veterans.
“We need someone in Leadership who has experience flipping districts from Blue to Red as we approach the important 2022 midterms, and that’s Elise! She knows how to win, which is what we need!” Mr. Trump said.
Ms. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she sees the Republican Party at a turning point. She warns that if the base continues to follow Mr. Trump‘s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, it will “do profound long-term damage to our party and our country.”
Her vocal opposition to Mr. Trump put her at odds with constituents back home in Wyoming, where 70% of voters backed the former president in the 2020 election.
Her anti-Trump stance and her vote to impeach him for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol also have made her reelection in 2022 an uphill battle, according to Wyoming GOP officials.
After she voted to impeach Mr. Trump in January, Ms. Cheney held onto her leadership position despite backlash from the conservative wing of the conference.
Since then, she has lost the backing of party leaders such as House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, putting her in the position to be unseated.
Mr. McCarthy has endorsed Ms. Stefanik to replace Ms. Cheney.
A spokesperson for Ms. Cheney pushed back on allegations that she is out of touch with pro-Trump voters, noting that she voted with the former president 93% of the time.