White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied on Friday that President Donald Trump’s eyebrow-raising meeting with Michigan’s Republican leaders later in the day would be about Trump asking them to appoint electors who would overrule the will of Michigan voters and hand the state to him.
“This is not an advocacy meeting,” McEnany told reporters. “There will be no one from the campaign there.”
“He routinely meets with lawmakers from all across the country,” she added.
The official declined to offer any more details.
Trump will be meeting with Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) and state House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R).
News of the President’s invitation to the lawmakers drew alarm over the possibility of Trump attempting to strong-arm them into appointing pro-Trump electors to undermine President-elect Joe Biden’s key victory in the state.
Chatfield posted a defiant tweet on Friday afternoon in the face of the backlash against his decision to visit Trump.
“No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it. I won’t apologize for that,” he wrote. “In fact, I’m honored to speak with POTUS and proud to meet with him.”
Shirkey refused to tell reporters what the meeting would be about as he was traveling to the White House:
?MICHIGAN state Sen Maj Leader @SenMikeShirkey(R), who will meet with Trump at WH today, faces questions from progressive journo @lawindsor about whether he will "overthrow the will of the voters" and if he thinks Biden won. Dodges Qs, begins singing pic.twitter.com/DmfH69ZWRN
— John Kruzel (@johnkruzel) November 20, 2020
Both GOP leaders have previously rejected the notion of a pro-Trump elector scheme: Shirkey asserted earlier this week that scenario is “not going to happen,” and Chatfield tweeted on November 6, “Let me be very clear: whoever gets the most votes will win Michigan! Period. End of story. Then we move on.”