In an overture to the MAGA crowd, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) appeared on Steve Bannon's radio show Thursday, saying that to win in the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans have to "run with support" from former President Donald Trump and "his coalition of voters."
Stefanik is the frontrunner to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as the House Republican Conference chair, should Cheney get ousted from the position. Cheney is a Trump critic, while Stefanik, who emerged as one of Trump's biggest defenders during his first impeachment, has doubled-down on her support. "I'm committed to being a voice and sending a clear message that we are one team," Stefanik told Bannon, "and that means working with [Trump] and working with all of our excellent Republican members of Congress."
Several conservative pundits, media personalities, and organizations have accused Stefanik of being too moderate, with the Club for Growth going so far as to call her "a liberal." Voting records show she sided with Trump 78 percent of the time, compared to Cheney at 93 percent, and while many of his fans are railing against Stefanik, Trump likes her and considers Stefanik a "Republican star."
Stefanik also told Bannon she "fully" supports Arizona's Republican-controlled Senate holding an unusual audit of the November presidential election in Maricopa County. Maricopa County election officials already conducted two audits and discovered no evidence of voter fraud, but Trump continues to spread false claims that the election was rigged against him.
"We want transparency and answers for the American people," Stefanik said, later telling Bannon she wants to "be able to fix and strengthen our election security and election integrity." The audit has come to the Justice Department's attention, with the Civil Rights Division asking the Arizona Senate to explain the steps being taken to ensure the ballots are secure and no one is committing voter intimidation.