Michigan Lawmaker Refutes Reports that Meeting with Trump Was About Election Results

Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise and Michigan State Representative Lee Chatfield(R) watch as US President Donald Trump arrives at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport May 21, 2020, in Romulus, Michigan. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

One of the Michigan lawmakers who met with President Donald Trump at the White House in the midst of legal challenges on the results of the 2020 election in that state has repudiated reports that the president would press for reversing election results.

The Associated Press (AP), which called the meeting “extraordinary,” reported on the development:

President Donald Trump did not ask Michigan Republican lawmakers to “break the law” or “interfere” with the election during a meeting at the White House, a legislative leader said Sunday, a day before canvassers plan to meet about whether to certify Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the battleground state.

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield was among seven Republican legislators who met with Trump for about an hour on Friday, amid his longshot efforts to block Biden’s win.

“There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn’t happen,” he told Fox News of the highly unusual meeting. He did not elaborate on what was discussed, except to say the delegation asked for additional federal aid to help Michigan’s coronavirus response.

Michigan’s elections agency has recommended that the Nov. 3 results, which showed Biden with 2.8-percentage point victory, be certified by the Board of State Canvassers. 

“The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party want the board to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state’s largest and home to Detroit,” AP reported.

AP reported that Chatfield said it would result in a “constitutional crisis” if the board — made up of two Republicans and two Democrats — does not confirm the results and the state’s Supreme Court doesn’t order it to do so.

“Michigan election law clearly requires that the state’s electors must be those nominated by the party that received the most votes — not the Legislature,” says a generic email state House Republicans are sending in response to people who have queried their offices about the election.

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