Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey calls Capitol riot a 'hoax from day one,' then apologizes for statement

Virus Outbreak Michigan Legislature
Posted at 8:55 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 23:07:47-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican legislative leader in Michigan apologized after falsely claiming supporters of President Donald Trump were not involved in the deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol, having called it a "hoax."

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey made the remarks last week while meeting with leaders of the Hillsdale County GOP, according to a video. The men spoke with Shirkey before censuring him, including for backing a ban on the open carry of guns into the Statehouse.

The Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol stunned the world as Trump supporters ransacked the building to try to stop the certification of Joe Biden's victory.

Shirkey later released a statement apologizing for his comments.

“I said some things in a videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve," the Senate Majority Leader said in a statement. "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.”

Democratic House Leader, Donna Lasinski says the comments Sen. Shirkey made are despicable.

“Calling the insurrection at our Capitol a hoax requires a clear denunciation of that remark," Lasinski said. "It’s unconscionable that he can work to undermine democracy one day and make laws for Michiganders the next."

Lasinski is now asking lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to consider removing Shirkey from his position.