The Republican Senate majority leader in the Michigan legislature has apologized for suggesting the Jan. 6 Capitol breach was a hoax.
The lawmaker, Mike Shirkey, apologies Tuesday after being seen on video at a Hillsdale County Republican Party meeting saying the breach was "all staged" and asking, "Why wasn't there more security there?" He also said the deadly siege was "a hoax from day one," according to the video.
"I said some things in a videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve," Shirkey in a statement. "I own that. I have many flaws. Being passionate coupled with an occasional lapse in restraint of tongue are at least two of them. I regret the words I chose, and I apologize for my insensitive comments."
In the video of the informal meeting, Shirkey also says that he does not believe the Capitol rioters were true supporters of former President Trump.
"That wasn't Trump people. ... That was all prearranged," he said before questioning why congressional leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell did not make the decision to have more security at the Capitol complex.
"I bet they wanted to have a mess," Shirkey said.
The video of Shirkey was posted online by a Hillsdale County Republican official who told CNN that he recorded the meeting because he did not trust Shirkey.