- President Donald Trump predicted earlier this week that Rep. Elise Stefanik will become president.
- Trump said "at this rate she'll be president in about 6 years," according to The New York Post.
- Stefanik, a New York Republican, was holding a fundraiser at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
President Donald Trump predicted at a closed door fundraiser on Tuesday that Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, will "be president in about 6 years."
Trump's praise for Stefanik, first reported by The New York Post, comes on the heels of the New York congresswoman emerging as one of his most ardent defenders.
"I want to congratulate Elise on her success," Trump said, according to the Post. "Man is she moving fast. That means at this rate she'll be president in about 6 years."
Stefanik voted against certifying the 2020 election results on the day of the January 6 insurrection and has defended Trump's voter fraud lies, often under the pretext of "tens of millions of Americans" lacking confidence in the legitimacy of President Joe Biden's victory.
She was also tapped to take over Rep. Liz Cheney's House GOP leadership post after the Wyoming congresswoman drew Trump's ire for calling out his election lies and voting for his second impeachment.
However, prior to her reelection in 2018, Stefanik was not as ardently supportive of Trump and occasionally criticized him, sometimes in veiled terms. She also voted against his signature piece of legislation, the 2017 tax reform bill.
A specific component of the bill — the state and local taxes or SALT deduction — was what she cited as her main reason for voting against the final package.
"While progress has been made during the conference committee, the final bill does not adequately protect the State and Local Tax deduction that so many in our district and across New York rely on," Stefanik wrote in a press release ahead of the House vote on the bill. "Due to Albany's failed leadership and inability to rein in spending, New York is one of the highest taxed states in the country, and families here rely on this important deduction to make ends meet. Failure to maintain SALT could lead to more families leaving our region."
During the 2016 campaign, Stefanik raised concerns about Trump's rhetoric.
"Unfortunately, it's tapping into the fear today of our security situation." she said in January 2016. "I think we should expect more substance out of our candidates."
Stefanik also grew her profile by frequently attacking former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as well as his staff, including her former high school classmate Melissa DeRosa, then Cuomo's top aide.
Before Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was inaugurated in 2019, Stefanik was the youngest woman ever elected to Congress following her 2014 victory. She's dedicated much of her career in Washington to recruiting more women to run for office on the GOP side
Despite a Democratic supermajority in Albany that will have the final say on the Empire State's redistricting map, Stefanik is likely to remain in a safe seat thanks to her already sprawling 21st district across the North Country region of Upstate New York.