Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was caught on a viral video calling the US Capitol riot, which happened on January 6, a hoax. He also tried to focus on other conspiracy theories about the attack. The Republican leader apologized for making such remarks on Tuesday.
In the viral YouTube video, Shirkey said that Capitol insurrection in which five people died, including a DC police officer, was "all staged".
"Why wasn't there more security there? he can be heard asking. The Republican leader from Michigan also alleged that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was involved in it. According to him, McConnell was part of the "decision-making how much security they have on the stand. I think they wanted to have a mess."
"That's been a hoax from day one, that was all pre-arranged," the politician said. He also asserted that rioters "went in on separate buses, that was all arranged by somebody that was funding everyone."
"That wasn't Trump people," he alleged.
Apologies for 'Insensitive Comments'
The Republican leader issued a statement on Tuesday. Without directly addressing the claims, he apologized for "insensitive comments" and said that he regretted the words he chose.
The statement reads:
"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. I regret the words I chose, and I apologize for my insensitive comments."
The controversial video was posted at a time when the FBI and other Department of Justice law enforcement agencies continue to track down the violent Trump-supporters who stormed the US Capitol. As of Tuesday afternoon, over 200 people have been charged for their involvement in the Capitol riot which happened when the 2020 election certification process was taking place.
More than an hour-long video was posted by a YouTube channel called Reclaim Our American Republic on February 4. According to the description of the video: "On February 3rd. 2021 the Hillsdale County Republican Party officers met with Senator Mike Shirkey in regards to his political censure planned for February 4th, 2021."
Hillsdale County Republican Party Secretary, Jon Smith, told CNN that he posted the video of Shirkey on his personal YouTube page. While explaining why he recorded the video, Smith said: "I didn't trust him to be honest with me and I wanted to expose his lies and I might need it to keep it for my own record."