Donald Trump solidified his stranglehold on the Republican party last night as his would-be nemesis Liz Cheney was ejected from her leadership role in Congress.
Cheney, 54, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, remained defiant and vowed to "lead the fight" against Trump within the party.
Trump said she was a "horrible human being" who was "bad for the party and bad for herself."
Moments after her removal, Cheney said: "I will do everything I can to ensure the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.
"I am absolutely committed. We must go forward based on truth. The nation needs a strong Republican party, a party based on fundamental principles of conservatism. I am dedicated to ensuring that, and I plan to lead the fight to do that."
She added that the party was "in a place we've got to bring it back from" and must not be "dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president."
Cheney, who represents Wyoming as a congresswoman, had served as chair of the Republican conference, making her the third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives.
In January she was one of a handful of Republicans in Congress who voted to impeach Trump, and she continued to lambast his claims that the election was "stolen".
Trump, who had called for her removal, said: "Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being. I watched her and realised how bad she is for the Republican Party. She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our country."
Trump also blamed Cheney's father for the Iraq invasion in 2003.
He said: "She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the never-ending Middle East disaster."
Cheney was removed from her leadership role at a private meeting of her Republican colleagues, some of whom booed her.
She briefly addressed the meeting, accusing Trump of trying to "unravel democracy" with "destructive lies" about the election.
The congresswoman said: "Down that path lies our destruction and potentially the destruction of our country.
"I promise you that, after today, I will be leading the fight to restore our party, making it worthy again of being the party of Lincoln." She ended her speech with a prayer.
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House, called a voice vote and there was no ballot. Cheney was removed on the voice vote.
McCarthy has argued that Cheney's criticism of the former president was undermining party unity.
Chip Roy, a Republican congressman from Texas, accused her of "unhelpfully engaging in personal attacks and finger-wagging towards President Trump."
Supporters called Cheney a political "martyr" trying to save the party.
Adam Kinzinger, an anti-Trump Republican congressman, said: "It was a very sad day. Liz committed the sin of being consistent and telling the truth. The truth is the election was not stolen.
"I stand with Liz. I'm proud of her. Going forward she's going to be a great leader for this party and this country."
Cheney now faces a battle to remain in Congress. She faces a slew of challengers in the Republican primary for her Wyoming seat ahead of midterm congressional elections in 2022.
On Tuesday night Cheney delivered a speech on the House floor wearing a lapel pin of George Washington's battle flag, given to her by her mother.
She vowed "not sit back in silence as others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law."
Cheney is expected to be replaced in her Republican leadership role by Elise Stefanik, a moderate-turned-Trumpist congresswoman from New York, who the former president has called a "star".