Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, while being interviewed on CNN Friday morning, said she had gotten a text from state House Speaker Lee Chatfield to inform her that he hadn’t “confirmed with anyone” if he’ll be meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.
“I only know what ‘s been reported publicly, which is it appears the invitation was accepted,” Benson, a Democrat, was saying on CNN’s “New Day,” when she added that Chatfield “just texted me and said he hasn’t confirmed with anyone if he’s going or not, so we’ll leave it at that.”
Trump on Thursday invited Chatfield and state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey to the White House as part of a push to upend the election process that appeared to award Joe Biden with the win for the state.
A state official aware of their plans said they agreed to the meeting, but both Shirkey and Chatfield have said they will not push to overturn Biden’s winning results.
Trump’s campaign has discussed an attempt to get GOP legislators to appoint electors, and if he succeeds in getting Michigan’s board of canvassers not to certify a Biden win, lawmakers could be called on to select electors. Legal experts say that would draw a legal challenge, and Shirkey’s spokesperson said the state law doesn’t include a provision to award electors to anyone but the person getting the most votes.
Benson said she’s trying to stay focused on the “facts and the data and the reality,” but she knows both Shirkey and Chatfield well and they are people who “respect the law.”
“I’ll take their public statements for what they are, which is that they’ve said that they stand with the will of the voters, which again in our case has been very clear,'” said Benson.
And even though Trump can be persuasive, “you can’t persuade away the facts and the truth,” said Benson.
“It’s very clear that the voters of Michigan have spoken, the election has occurred, the vote has been tabulated and tallied very securely, very accurately,” said Benson. “There’s no legal or factual basis to question that. There have been no irregularities, to widespread fraud, despite significant scrutiny and folks looking for that.”
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