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Michigan state Senate leader apologizes for calling Capitol riot a hoax

February 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 69.5%. 2 min read.

FILE - In this Monday, May 18, 2020 file photo, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, speaks in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Shirkey on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, sought to downplay his recent meeting with Donald Trump amid the president's efforts to challenge Joe Biden's win in Michigan, saying Republicans told Trump that state law clearly does not give legislators a say in awarding electoral votes.(Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey apologized Tuesday for calling the US Capitol riot a hoax and espousing several conspiracy theories implicating political leadership in a video recorded and posted to YouTube.

(CNN)Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey apologized Tuesday for calling the US Capitol riot a hoax and espousing several conspiracy theories implicating political leadership in a video recorded and posted to YouTube.

"That wasn't Trump people," Shirkey said of the January 6 riots in a video taken in a restaurant.

"That's been a hoax from day one, that was all pre-arranged," Shirkey said, asserting that rioters "went in on separate buses, that was all arranged by somebody that was funding everyone. "

It was ridiculous, it was all staged," he continued, before pointing to conspiracy theories that Republican leadership -- including Senate Minority Mitch McConnell -- were somehow involved, and questioning how and why some casualties occurred or were recorded.

The recorded encounter with Shirkey occurred on February 3 at Spangler's Family Restaurant in Jonesville, Michigan, said Hillsdale County Republican Party Secretary Jon Smith, who told CNN that he posted the video on his personal YouTube page.

"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," Smith said of his reason to film Shirkey.

The Metro Times in Detroit first reported on Shirkey's comments.

In a statement Tuesday, Shirkey acknowledged the video tape was legitimate and apologized for his comments.

The remarks come as the FBI and other Department of Justice law enforcement agencies continue to track down and prosecute dozens of those involved in the siege of the Capitol that killed five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

Active military personnel and veterans are over-represented among the first 150 people to be arrested and have records released for federal offenses in the violence and insurrection at the US Capitol, according to an analysis by CNN of Pentagon records and court proceedings.

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