Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has found himself in an unwanted spotlight after it was revealed Tuesday that he claimed the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol was “staged” and “a hoax.”
News about his bizarre and baseless comments, first reported by Metro Times, made the rounds on social media and in local and national news reports.
“This is really what is happening at state-level Republican politics right now,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said on her show Tuesday evening, playing a clip of the video. "In Washington, Republicans are chiding Democrats for going ahead with impeachment, saying ‘move on, this is all ancient history. This is behind us.’ Look around you. Republicans in the states are really, really not moving on.”
CNN host Jake Tapper retweeted a clip of the video in which Clarklake Republican tells Hillsdale County Republicans that “Trump people” were not behind the riot.
“This is just crazy,” Tapper tweeted.
This is just crazy https://t.co/WuF66wGmw1— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 10, 2021
In a video posted on Twitter, Progress Michigan Deputy Director Sam Inglot caught up with Shirkey outside of a fundraiser Wednesday morning and asked the Senate’s top Republican if he planned “to heed some of the calls” to resign.
“No, I don’t have any plans for that,” Shirkey said.
When Inglot asked whether he still believed the insurrection was a hoax, Shirkey admitted, “The event was very real and very unfortunate,” but insisted Trump was not responsible for the attack.
Then, without a face covering, he walked into a building where a sign read, "No mask, no entry, it's the law."
Our deputy director @saminglot ran into Mike Shirkey outside a fundraiser this morning.— Progress Michigan (@ProgressMich) February 10, 2021
Shirkey says he has no plans to resign, insists that Trump wasn’t responsible for the insurrection. pic.twitter.com/ViSK38S2HT
Even Republicans joined in the criticism.
“This is sadly pathetic,” U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., tweeted. “Instead of taking the censure, he tried to push the lie. Tell the truth. Stop the lies.”
Jeff Timmer, the former head of the Michigan Republican Party, called Shirkey “batshit crazy” on Twitter.
Michigan Senator Mike Shirkey Thinks Capitol Riot Was 'Staged,' Mitch McConnell Was 'Part of It'— Jeff Timmer (@jefftimmer) February 10, 2021
I told Newsweek he needs to resign because he’s batshit crazy. https://t.co/nZjHL2jnrm
U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Detroit, also criticized Shirkey.
“I was there,” Lawrence tweeted. “My life & the lives of Democrats & Republicans, including former VP Pence, were in danger. Sen. Shirkey, you're allowed to exercise your right to free speech, but you as an elected official took an oath to the Constitution. You have a responsibility to the truth.”
Our county is on the road to healing and accountability. And I agree with you. The deadly riot was prearranged... by the previous President, Donald Trump. (2/2)— Brenda Lawrence (@RepLawrence) February 10, 2021
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