Lawmakers told Trump they had no role in the election


LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey tried to underestimate his last meeting with Donald Trump on Tuesday as president’s efforts challenged Joe Biden’s Michigan victory, saying Republicans told Trump that state laws would not be allowed. granting electoral votes to legislators.

Shirkey and Speaker Lee Chatfield were among seven GOP lawmakers who met with Trump at the White House last week. Days later, the state election body confirmed Biden’s victory and closed the door to any long, legally suspicious offer that Michigan’s 16 voter votes would not be awarded to the former vice president if executives came to a standstill.

“It was a very harmless meeting. There were high expectations and few results, ”Shirkey told the Associated Press.

At one point, Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called and repeated the allegations of voting irregularities in the democratic citadel of Wayne County, Shirkey said. Neither Giuliani nor Trump asked lawmakers to intervene, but wanted to “understand” state law, he said.

“After talking to a conversation room and I made it absolutely clear that our laws are very specific, very clear, there is no room for ambiguity, that’s basically the end of the conversation after we experienced this because it has to do with elections,” Shirkey said. – There is simply no place in our laws for the legislature to be involved.

He said he was in his workshop and took off his hunting clothes last Wednesday when Trump called to invite him to the White House.

“The president of the United States will call you on your personal phone and ask you to come to him, I’m going.” I don’t care who it is, ”Shirkey said of the trip, which was heavily controlled. Liberal activists confront him and other GOP lawmakers at Detroit and Washington airports

He said he doesn’t feel pressure in the Oval Office – “not in the least”. He described Trump as “friendly, charming, easily distracted,” saying he left for a few minutes to watch the first lady inaugurate a statue in the Rose Garden.

– I can’t be more definite. There was never a request. It was never an issue, ”said Shirkey, who claimed others,“ came to vile conclusions about our trip (our unnatural nature) and just assumed there was going to be a back room conversation about doing something that was simply not possible, and we don’t even consider it.

He reiterated that the delegation had asked for additional federal coronavirus support, but said Chief of Staff Trump and Mark Meadows, while accepting the request, did not trust that they would find a common position with Congress and were therefore not bound. Conservative lawmakers have specifically called for additional unemployment benefits, bonuses for health workers and money for personal protective equipment, Shirkey said.

Trump and his allies focused on alleged irregularities in Wayne County, home of Detroit, where Biden defeated the nationwide by 154,000 votes, or a 2.8 percentage point victory, by 332,000 votes. Judges unanimously denied their fraud claim in Michigan and other states.

– Wayne County has not determined the outcome of the Michigan presidential race. It was Kent County and Oakland County, ”Shirkey said, referring to the large, vote-rich areas in and around Grand Rapids and north of Detroit. About two-thirds of the counties supporting Trump in 2016 became more democratic in 2020 – most only slightly and some more significantly.

Shirkey said the number of missing votes has skyrocketed since the 2018 constitutional amendment, and he wants administrators to be able to count mail when they arrive before election day, for example in Florida, and take out “a number of vulnerabilities in the chain of custody. the system. He also said the legislature should consider increasing the training of pollsters and observers, including possible certification requirements.

He spoke a day after the State House of Representatives voted 3-0 to confirm the November 3 election results, with one Republican abstaining after arguing that the body was legally empowered to devote more time to investigating complaints. Many of Detroit’s missing ballots were unbalanced, although election experts say such issues are present in every election and almost never indicates a serious threat to the integrity of the tall.

“No one should accept that 71% of the districts are unbalanced, and no one can assume it is catastrophic,” Shirkey said.

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