DETROIT – The leader of the Michigan Senate was recorded on video speaking with members of the Hillsdale County Republican Party, claiming that the U.S. Capitol riot was a “hoax.”
The hour-long video shows Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey meeting with the group before a vote to censure Shirkey in relation to his decision to compromise on disallowing open carry in the state Capitol. The group also criticized his toughness when it comes to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and questioned him when he told them voter fraud was not a factor in the state’s presidential outcomes.
In the video, Shirkey was asked about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in Washington D.C. He tells the group, “that wasn’t Trump people” and calls it “a hoax from day one. That was all prearranged.”
The video was posted Feb. 4 on YouTube by R.O.A.R. (Reclaim Our American Republic).
Shirkey issued an apology Tuesday night:
“I said some things in videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I’m privileged to serve. I own that. I have many flaws. Being passionate coupled with an occasional lapse in restraint of tongue are at least two of them. I regret the words I chose and I apologize for my insensitive comments,” he said.
When asked about the video, Whitmer said she hadn’t seen it but had been told of comments being made.
“There was so much in there to react to and I’m going to try to keep my focus on doing the job at hand which is getting our state through this pandemic, getting our kids back in school and getting shots in arms,” she said. “That’s what I’m going to continue putting my energy toward. Some of these things are kind of shocking, some of them aren’t particularly surprising considering previous remarks but I’m not going to get distracted by it.”