Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was caught on camera telling officials from the Hillsdale County Republican Party that the Capitol takeover was “staged” and a “hoax.”
“It was all staged,” Shirkey says during the secretly recorded lunch meeting on Feb. 3.
In the footage, which is over an hour long, Shirkey also says that Mitch McConnell “was part of it… They wanted to have a mess” so that they could impeach Donald Trump.
The video was posted on YouTube by Hillsdale County Republican Party Secretary Jon Smith, who is upset with Shirkey for repeatedly caving to Democrats.
During the conversation, Shirkey says that the January 6 protest “wasn’t Trump people.”
“That’s been a hoax from day one, that was all pre-arranged,” Shirkey adds, asserting that the people “went in on separate buses, that was all arranged by somebody that was funding everyone.”
“Why wasn’t there more security? It was ridiculous, it was all staged,” he continued.
Shirkey issued an apology for his comments in a statement released on Tuesday.
“I said some things in a videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve,” the statement said. “I own that. I have many flaws. Being passionate coupled with an occasional lapse in restraint of tongue are at least two of them.”
In a subsequent statement, Shirkey added that “I frankly don’t take back any of the points I was trying to make.”
“Some of the words I chose I do regret,” he said.
The Hillsdale County Republican Party voted voted 14-5 to censure Shirkey on Monday for not standing up to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on lockdowns and supporting a ban on the open carrying firearms at the state Capitol “when no violent attack with firearms has ever taken place.”
The party is also upset with Shirkey for calling armed protesters who stormed the state Capitol in April “a bunch of jackasses.”