Republican members of Michigan’s House and Senate meet with Donald Trump at the White House, supposedly to talk about COVID-19.
Afterwards, they party at the Trump International Hotel until at least midnight without wearing masks or social distancing.
Why It Might Matter
(1) The timing is suspicious. The meeting comes just days after two Republicans on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers blocked certification of election results in a city primarily populated by people of color. They certified the results after public pressure but then, after a call from Donald Trump, tried to rescind the certification the day before the Trump meeting. Michigan is scheduled to certify the election results three days after the White House meeting.
(2) The statement released by Sen. Mike Shirkey and Rep. Lee Chatfield as an overview of the meeting only relays Michigan’s hopes for COVID-19 aid and that Michigan is dedicated to a fair election. It does not include a single mention of Trump’s comments during the meeting or confirm whether or not the election was mentioned.
(3) Trump himself shared the statement, adding “We will show massive and unprecedented fraud!”
(4) Rudy Giuliani said at a press conference the day before that Michigan should remove Wayne County votes from the final count, which would throw the state to Trump.
(5) When asked how the accommodations were paid for, Chatfield’s spokesperson acknowledged receiving the question but declined to answer. Many speculate that the trip was paid for by taxpayers. Trump is infamous for personally profiting by spending government funds at his businesses.
(6) When asked on camera if he will accept the results of the election, Sen. Mike Shirkey refused to answer and sang a song instead.
(7) John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, warned ahead of the meeting that Trump would try to “squeeze” the legislators to interfere with Michigan’s election certification.
(8) Noel Casler, a former staffer of Trump’s on The Apprentice, believes that Trump properties like the D.C. hotel are used to collect compromising material (or kompromat) for Trump to use as blackmail. Putin is known to use Moscow hotels for the same purpose. If true, this might also explain why former, vocal, never-Trump Republicans like Lindsey Graham started doing Trump’s bidding months after Trump became president.
Photo: André Chung