Friday, November 20, 2020

Michigan Republican leader is meeting with Trump at White House to discuss coup

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:09 AM

  • Evan El-Amin /,

By now, what President Donald Trump is doing is so clear that pretty much every credible newspaper is calling it for what it is: an attempted coup.

"Trump uses power of presidency to try to overturn the election and stay in office," reads a plainly titled headline from The Washington Post. Trump is doing this by pressuring Republican officials in states like Michigan, Georgia, and others, where typical and minor election irregularities are being pointed to as signs of a conspiracy against Trump.

"These are the words and actions of an attempted coup, according to historians and other experts," the Post reports. Observers have warned about this day since before Trump even became President.

In Michigan, Republican Senate Majority leader Mike Shirkey left on Friday morning to meet with Trump at the White House. A reporter and a group of protesters caught Shirkey at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, where the senator was evasive. In fact, he has not released a statement about why exactly he is meeting with the President.

But let's be real. Trump is completely obsessed with losing the election, and has spent the past several weeks spouting so many conspiracy theories about it being "rigged" — without presenting any evidence — that even Twitter had to start fact-checking him.

Shirkey and Trump are discussing collaborating on a coup.

Whether Shirkey actually commits to anything is another story. On Tuesday, Shirkey told Bridge that he would not subvert Michigan's popular vote by selecting his own electors for Michigan's Electoral College vote, a legally dubious gambit that Trump's lawyers have seized upon.

"That’s not going to happen," Shirkey said. In the interview, Shirkey also said Trump should concede. Trump lost to Joe Biden by about 150,000 votes in Michigan. (Plus, if Trump does try to bribe Shirkey with any quid pro quo, Shirkey could be committing a felony by accepting it.)

Maybe Shirkey will call Trump a "jackass" to his face for all we know, or ask him to work with Congress to pass a new round of pandemic stimulus relief funds. Still, why even humor Trump at a time like this?

Michigan House speaker Lee Chatfield was also invited, but as of Friday morning it wasn't clear if he was going.

Earlier this week, Trump called the Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers after a contentious meeting in which they attempted to throw out Detroit's votes. After Trump called, they attempted to rescind their votes to certify Wayne County's votes.

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