Michigan House speaker ‘hasn’t confirmed’ he will attend ‘extraordinary’ White House meeting

The Michigan speaker of the House said he has not confirmed whether he will accept the White House’s invitation for an “extraordinary” meeting between President Trump and top Republican lawmakers in the state, according to a text he sent to Michigan’s secretary of state during a live interview.

Asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Friday to confirm reporting that the lawmakers had accepted the invitation from Trump, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said, “I only know what’s been reported publicly, which is it appears the invitation was accepted and you know, I also know, though, that quite publicly, both the Senate majority leader and the speaker have stated they won’t obstruct the will of the voters and so we also see no indication that that’s going to change, either.”

After confirming that she hadn’t spoken with either lawmaker, Benson added: “I’m trying to, you know, just stay focused on the facts and the data and the reality. And actually, the speaker just texted me and said he hasn’t confirmed with anyone if he’s going or not. So we’ll leave it at that.”

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Trump had invited Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield for a meeting. The report said that it was “not immediately clear what the meeting would be about” but noted that the Trump campaign was “openly floating the notion of trying to get friendly state legislatures to appoint electors who would overturn the will of the voters.”

An unnamed state official aware of the leaders’ plans said that the two lawmakers had agreed to go.

Both Shirkey and Chatfield have indicated in the past that they would not try to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

“Nothing is more important than integrity in our election system,” Chatfield tweeted after Election Day. “Every single legal vote needs to be counted. Because this is America and that’s what we do! And let me be very clear: whoever gets the most votes will win Michigan! Period. End of story. Then we move on.”

“I know both the speaker and the Senate majority leader well,” Benison added. “They’re folks who do respect the law. They’re folk who do follow the rule of law. And so, again, you know, 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.”

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