Elise Stefanik in power struggle with Don Trump Jr: report
Elise Stefanik, Don Trump Jr (Both photos by Mandel Ngan for AFP)

According to a report from Politico, Rep. Elise Stefanik's overwhelming desire to move up the leadership ranks in the Republican Party is receiving some major pushback from some conservatives including surrogates of Don Trump Jr.

Stefanik, the formerly moderate Republican representing New York in the House, has spent the last several years defending Donald Trump which has paid off with her becoming the third in line in the House leadership when she replaced Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) after she voted to impeach Donald Trump.

As Politico's Olivia Beavers and Meredith McGraw report, Stefanik's political ambition is now coming back to bite her after she ran afoul of Don Trump Jr. and a smattering of his allies.

According to the report, Stefanik's people have been running a behind-the-scenes war against some of her competitors including Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) and one of his aides who just happens to be Fox News personality Tucker Carlson's son.

Politico reported that the Stefanik team was "admonished" for the attacks.

RELATED: 'Power without principle': Elise Stefanik slammed by college mentor who encouraged her congressional run

"Trump Jr. allies were recently told that Stefanik’s camp was behind an effort to plant negative stories about Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), a potential Stefanik competitor in House GOP leadership. It was also relayed to them that part of the effort involved bringing up Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s son, Buckley," Politico reports before adding, "Intermediaries for Trump Jr.’s camp conveyed to Stefanik backers that they believed she had crossed a line by bringing up Carlson’s child."

Adding, "One Republican familiar with the conversations said the behind-the-scenes furor began when people in Trump Jr.’s circle heard about Stefanik’s team making comments to the press that targeted Banks and Buckley Carlson, who’s worked for the Republican Study Committee chair since 2019. Trump Jr. allies made their displeasure with Stefanik clear through mutual friends, according to this Republican," the report notes, "Encouraging reporters to run negative stories about political rivals is hardly rare on Capitol Hill, particularly as jostling begins to intensify among House Republicans seeking to climb the leadership ladder under next year’s increasingly likely GOP majority ... But any efforts to raise Buckley Carlson could be the political equivalent of touching the third rail: The son of one of conservative media’s most influential voices has his own friends in powerful circles."

According to Republican strategist Doug Heye, Stefanik and her people are engaging in "cuthroat" politics that are not uncommon but can blow up in your face.

"These races get cutthroat, and they’re cutthroat because they’re about the race that is going to happen immediately after the elections, but also about setting yourself or allies up for future races,” he explained with the Politico report adding, "It’s clear that the 37-year old Stefanik plans to rise higher in the GOP, having minted friends in the party from her work electing Republican women through her PAC even before she took Cheney’s place as the highest-ranking woman in congressional party leadership. But where her upward trajectory takes her next is less certain."

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