State Watch

Michigan GOP legislators appear at Trump Hotel after White House meeting

Trump International Hotel D.C.

Michigan’s top GOP legislators made an appearance at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Friday after attending a meeting at the White House with President Trump that sparked widespread scrutiny.

Photos obtained by the Detroit Free Press show Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R) and other state GOP members gathered inside the hotel on Friday.

CNN reported that Chatfield and Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) both stayed Friday night at the hotel, which is located just blocks from the White House, following their meeting with Trump earlier in the day.

Images of the GOP legislators were also projected on the outside of the hotel building Friday night, along with the messages “The world is watching” and “voters decided.” It wasn’t clear who was behind the images, according to The New York Times.

Trump invited the legislators to visit the White House amid a broad effort by the president and his legal team to challenge Michigan’s election results. Biden leads Trump by about 154,000 votes in Michigan.

After the meeting, Shirley and Chatfield said in a statement that they had not been “made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan” and said “as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election.”

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday and stepped on the pair’s message, claiming without offering evidence that “massive voter fraud will be shown.” Both of his tweets were labeled as “disputed.”

The state lawmakers said they were joined by their colleagues at the White House and delivered a letter to Trump laying out their support for congressional aid to assist the state amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the meeting was thrust into the spotlight due to Michigan’s presidential election results as Trump escalates his efforts to reverse the outcome. 

Trump reached out on Tuesday night to officials in Wayne County, Mich., who sought to block the certification of votes there, which led to accusations of racism given the number of votes by Black Americans that could have been overturned.  

The president then invited the Michigan lawmakers to the White House, prompting backlash among those who saw it as a blatant attempt to influence elected officials and push for pro-Trump electors to be appointed in Michigan. 

The White House insisted Friday that the meeting was not about “advocacy.”

Trump and his legal team have mounted a long-shot bid to overturn election results in Michigan and several other states where Biden leads. The strategy has been concentrated on discounting votes in urban areas like Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. These areas are Democratic strongholds and home to high percentages of Black voters. 

The president has not given any indication that he will concede soon, despite facing a series of setbacks in court and multiple states certifying Biden as the winner.

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Joe Biden Michigan
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