Gilchrist on Shirkey's hot mic moment: 'That kind of rhetoric is not okay.'

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist spoke with FOX 17 about his conversation with state Sen. Mike Shirkey.
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Posted at 10:04 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 22:46:42-05

LANSING, Mich. — A candid conversation was caught on a hot mic on Michigan’s Senate floor Wednesday.

Republican State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake seemingly doubling down on his belief in a conspiracy theory about the U.S. Capitol rioters, while talking with Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

“I frankly don’t take back any of the points I was trying to make,” you can hear Senator Shirkey saying. “Some of the words I chose, I do; I regret,” he added.

“I let [Senator Shirkey] know that I was going to be making a public statement about the comments that he made to the Hillsdale GOP about the hoax, about the really disgusting things he said about the governor; I just let him know I was going to be talking about that publicly as a courtesy, you know, give him a heads up that I’m going to be coming at you,” Gilchrist told FOX 17 Thursday.

“He said, ‘Okay,’ and then he was walking away from me, when he turned around and decided to come back and tell me that he was gonna double down on this theory about January 6. I was really shocked that happened,” Gilchrist added.

Shirkey ‘doubling down’ just hours after an apology was issued for a secret video gone public, in which he said the Capitol attack was a hoax, while also making other disparaging comments like that he contemplated fist-fighting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and that the GOP ‘spanked’ her on budget negotiations.

The state’s top elected Republican is now facing calls to resign or step down from Senate leadership.

“That's a question for the Senate Republican Caucus to answer,” Gilchrist said when asked if Shirkey should step down.

“They have the majority in the Senate. I will say that if they do not choose to take action, it is frankly a tacit endorsement of the actions and the behavior and the words of the Senate majority leader, and I think that people who support those senators and support the Michigan Republican Party need take a hard look at that,” Gilchrist added.

Gilchrist calls it disappointing and a distraction from important work that needs to be done.

“That kind of rhetoric is not okay, it's not acceptable and we need to move past that, and that has really been a blockade; it makes it difficult to work together,” Gilchrist added.

Shirkey has not spoken to the press since the incident.

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