As The Detroit Free Press reports, Shirkey made the remarks to Hillsdale County Republican Party officials in a meeting in which that GOP organization was preparing to issue a censure … against Shirkey … for failing to “stand up” to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Which apparently means that Shirkey was insufficiently supportive of armed militia that swarmed Michigan’s own state capitol while planning to kidnap and execute Whitmer. (Spoiler alert: they did censor Shirkey the next day.)
But facing a group that was angry at him for not protecting the rights of a paramilitary goon squad to wave AR-15s inside the Capitol building, Shirkey did his best to show that he was one of them by breaking out a conspiracy theory that went from Q all the way to Z.
“That wasn’t Trump people,” said Shirkey. “That’s been a hoax from day one. It was all staged.” Later, Shirkey admits that some Trump supporters might have been among the crowd who swarmed the Capitol. However, he has an excuse for them. “Some of those Trump folks probably just got caught up in the emotion of it.”
According to Shirkey, those who staged the “hoax” included Sen. Mitch McConnell who, according to Shirkey, “wanted a mess.” Fellow Republicans gathered around the table speak in agreement, talking about how peaceful the protest actually was, and how they didn’t see “anyone punch a cop.”
Questioned about D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Shirkey describes her as “just a puppet” in the scheme to make Trump look bad. “It was ridiculous,” said Shirkey. “It was all staged.”
The group also spends quite a bit of time discussing how “ridiculous” it was to shoot Ashli Babbitt because, according to Shirkey, every other time the insurgents broke through a barrier, the cops “just got out of the way.” Other Republicans join in complaining that Babbitt was “just an unarmed woman coming through a window.”
In discussing Gov. Whitmer, Shirkey said repeatedly that he had “spanked her” when it came to various issues. He also, bizarrely, claimed that he had considered challenging her to a boxing match on the state house lawn. One of the other men warns that Whitmer might beat him.
Confronted about this mass of lies and inappropriate statements, Shirkey apologized. Sort of. According to The Washington Post, Shirkey responded with a statement: “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.”
It’s notable that the statement doesn’t actually walk back any of his false claims about the insurgency, or even address the sexualized claims he made about “spanking” Gov. Whitmer. However, none of that appears to matter in any case. Because when caught speaking near a hot mic on Wednesday, Shirkey walked back his walk back. “I frankly don’t take back any of the statements I made. I take back some of the words I chose.”
So Shirkey is still completely onboard with the idea that the attack on the nation’s Capitol was not carried out by Trump supporters, despite the fact that we know who these people were. And remember—this is the guy who other Republicans just censored for not being extreme enough.
A video of the meeting with Republican officials was posted by the Detroit Metro Times.