Michigan state Senate Leader Mike Shirkey (R) half-apologized on Tuesday night after a viral video showed him falsely claiming that the violent insurrection ex-President Donald Trump unleashed upon the Capitol on January 6 was not carried out by the former president’s supporters.
“I said some things in a videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve. I own that. I have many flaws. Being passionate coupled with an occasional lapse in restraint of tongue are at least two of them,” Shirkey said in a statement. “I regret the words I chose, and I apologize for my insensitive comments.”
However, the Republican leader did not walk back his false assertions or acknowledge that the insurrection was real.
In the video, which was first reported by the Detroit Metro Times, Shirkey baselessly claims that the siege was “staged.”
“That wasn’t Trump people. That’s been a hoax from day one. That was all prearranged,” he says. “It was arranged by somebody who was funding it.”
The Republican even suggests that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was partially behind the attack.
There is no evidence that Trump’s supporters were not responsible for the insurrection, which led to five deaths. In fact, many of those supporters openly bragged about their participation on social media and have explicitly told law enforcement that the former president had asked them to storm the Capitol building.
Trump has since been impeached by the House on the charge of “incitement of insurrection” and is currently on trial in the Senate.