In the four years he served as Commander-in-Chief, former President Donald Trump called a lot of things "a hoax."
First, it was the "Russian Hoax," Trump's attempt to de-legitimize a special investigation into his connections to Russia in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.
Then there was the "Impeachment Hoax"--back in early 2020 when he was being impeached for the first time.
Then he called the virus a hoax. With nearly 400,000 Americans dead that couldn't be more incorrect.
And of course, he called his election loss to President Joe Biden a hoax, a lie that ultimately galvanized his supporters to storm the Capitol building on January 6.
Now, new comments from a Republican leader in Michigan have shown that the "hoax" ploy has outlived Trump's time in office.
According to Huffington Post, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was recently caught on video as he made a long rant against Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer—who was the target of a kidnapping plot hatched by Trump supporters last year. After repeatedly boasting he "spanked" Whitmer in various political rows, Shirkey then described his desire to physically fight her.
When asked about what happened at the Capitol on January 6, Shirkey denied the obvious truth.
"That wasn't Trump people. That's been a hoax since day one. It was all prearranged."
Although the entire video is over an hour long, Shirkey's denial of the truth behind the insurrection was posted to Twitter in a briefer form.
Michigan Senate leader @SenMikeShirkey at a meeting w/ Hillsdale Republicans: HR: “what about the DC thing? (Refer… https://t.co/cbkJ2luO1N— Doug Reardon (@Doug Reardon)1612916167.0
People who saw the video on Twitter were horrified to see yet another Republican official spewing lies and conspiracy theories.
@ReardonReports @chrislhayes @SenMikeShirkey @metrotimes At some point in time we’ll have to grapple with the fact… https://t.co/vVD9ZJqXfb— TruthNotConjecture (@TruthNotConjecture)1612917888.0
@ReardonReports @chrislhayes @SenMikeShirkey @metrotimes Unfortunately, it looks like @SenMikeShirkey may need to s… https://t.co/DTIwV0K33V— brad (@brad)1612917182.0
@ReardonReports @SenMikeShirkey @metrotimes @SenErikaGeiss is there anything we can do about this? This is the MI Senate LEADER! Wtf 🤦🏻♀️— Rosie (@Rosie)1612923518.0
@ReardonReports @SenMikeShirkey @metrotimes I hate the “denial of reality as a defense” so much. Everything you don… https://t.co/XYQuEm61YP— RevWendy (@RevWendy)1612965309.0
Eventually, the local and internet backlash following those comments grew enough for Shirkey to issue an apology.
The Detroit Free Press reported Shirkey stated:
"I said some things in a videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve. 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."
Only time will tell what happens when a believer of completely false conspiracy theories has one of the most powerful governmental positions in the state of Michigan.