Democracy group board members angry at presence of pro-Trump election conspiracist Elise Stefanik, report says

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Elise Stefanik (AP)
Elise Stefanik (AP)

Board members of a democracy foundation reportedly raised concerns about Elise Stefanik, an ally of Donald Trump, after she rejected Joe Biden’s election win in Congress in January — but no action was taken.

She was among dozens of Republicans who rejected 2020’s election results in the aftermath of the Capitol riot on 6 January.

On Thursday, it was reported that Ms Stefanik — who recently became Republican conference chair following the ousting of anti-Trump congresswoman Liz Cheney — was a member of NED’s board.

The agency, founded in 1983, is non-partisan and works to further democracy abroad.

A NED spokesperson confirmed to Politico that board members raised concerns about Ms Stefanik with NED president Carl Gershman on 8 January, but said no further action was taken.

“People are elected to three-year terms and she’s in her first term and that’s all I have to say about that,” Mr Gershman said to Politico when approached for comment.

“It’s kind of like the Catholic Church appointing a self-described atheist as a cardinal,” said Max Boot, of the Council on Foreign Relations. “Elise Stefanik is part of the threat to American democracy”.

Mr Boot continued: “It’s a travesty that she’s on the board of an institution whose goal is to promote democracy.”

Dick Gephardt, a former NED member and Democratic House speaker, also raised concerns and said: “How is it consistent for someone like her to be on the board of NED given its mission for promoting democracy all over the world?”

The Democrat went on to reference Republican attempts in a number of US states to reduce voting access in the wake of Donald Trump’s defeat.

Ms Stefanik, who became a board member shortly after her election to Congress in 2018, also recently voted against the formation of a commission to investigate the Capitol riot, and has backed a Republican audit of ballots in Arizona.

That followed her election to Republican conference chair in the House, with the backing of Mr Trump.

The Independent has approached NED and Ms Stefanik for further comment.

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