GOP senator defends Jan. 6 texts to Meadows
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Sunday defended the texts he sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows after the 2020 election, saying he was trying to “narrow down what was truth and fiction” as he counted electoral votes from his state.
The senator told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream there is “not a scintilla of truth” to his opponent Evan McMullin’s claims that Lee pushed to overturn the results of the 2020 election to support former President Trump by offering to find an alternate slate of electors.
“There were rumors circulating in the days and weeks leading up to Jan. 6, rumors suggesting that some states would be shifting out their slates of electors,” Lee said. “As a U.S. senator, it was my job to open and count the electoral votes, and we were trying to narrow down what was truth and what was fiction.”
“I made phone calls to investigate the truthfulness of those rumors,” the senator added.
Lee is running a close race for reelection against McMullin, who is running as an independent candidate for the Senate seat.
On the campaign trail, McMullin has blasted Lee for his texts to Meadows, which were sent between Nov. 7, 2020, and Jan. 4, 2021. In those messages, he offered his support for Trump’s efforts to overturn the election multiple times.
“Please give me something to work with. I just need to know what I should be saying,” he wrote in one text, adding in another that he and other senators wanted to be “helpful.”
Still, Lee ultimately voted to certify the election results.
“I concluded after my investigation that the rumors were false,” Lee told Bream on Sunday. “And on that basis, I voted to certify the 2020 election.”