Gov. Whitmer spoke publicly after pictures of her and 12 other people inside an East Lansing bar surfaced on the far-right website, Breitbart.
The group in violation of Michigan’s indoor dining rules.
“It was an honest mistake and I have apologized for it,” Whitmer said.
The photo is being compared to California Gov. Gavin Newsom at the beginning of the pandemic, seen at a birthday party inside a restaurant, the French Laundry.
Whitmer said everyone at her table was fully vaccinated, unlike those at Newsome’s party. However, Republicans online called the photo hypocritical.
Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, tweeted, “Hairstylist were targeted by Nessel as they gave haircuts on the lawn of the Capitol one year ago, can they apologize and get their thousands of dollars in legal fees back?”
On Monday, Whitmer said the bar she went to -- Landshark Bar & Grill -- will not be facing a fine and is different from other business that broke the rules.
Busy week of Michigan COVID news: Whitmer’s restaurant photo, new restrictions, returning to work
“I think that we have specifically not gone forward and penalize businesses that are trying to do the right thing. It’s those that have flouted and put people’s safety at risk that are the most concerning,” she said.
The photo of the governor comes in midst of the controversy over her trip to Florida back in March. State Republicans are still asking for answers to 43 specific questions submitted to her office about who was on the flight, how they money was used and the work she did while traveling. The deadline for those questions is Thursday with Republicans threatening further investigation if they are not answered.