Michigan Democrats criticize state GOP over meeting with Trump

Michigan Democrats criticized state Republican leaders for meeting with President Donald Trump under a heavily partisan atmosphere in Washington D.C. on Friday.

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), State Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), and State Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) said they were concerned the meeting could involve plans to overturn Michigan's popular vote, despite previous promises that there was no such plan.

"This is a scary time," said Irwin, speaking during a virtual press conference.

Warning of far-reaching consequences if a potential electoral vote switch was undertaken, Carter said Republicans Lee Chatfield and Mike Shirkey had a responsibility to the country over the party.

"They need to choose the United States over the person sitting in the office. He is not a king, he is not a dictator, he is an occupier," said Carter.

The Democrats stopped short of condemning the two leaders, however, choosing instead to wait until the contents of the meeting are revealed. Dingell also said she didn't have plans to initiate an investigation into the meeting or the call between Trump and a Republican canvasser in Wayne County.

Carter also said he believed the discord and undermining of the election were an anomaly, believing there would be a return to normal during the next election with Joe Biden in office. 

Chatfield and Shirkey were both summoned on Thursday by Trump but neither Republican has indicated what the three plan to discuss.

The Legislature would be called to select electors if Trump succeeds in convincing the state’s board of canvassers not to certify Biden’s 153,000-vote victory in the state.

In a statement from Michigan democrats, they said Republicans are focused on "subverting the will of Michigan voters who have clearly and resoundly voted for Joe Biden."

Additionally, the Democrats say Shirkey and Chatfield are "sending a message to everyone in this state that they care more about Trump than the people they were elected to serve."

Neither Shirkey nor Chatfield commented about the purpose of the trip and both have indicated they will not try to overturn Biden’s win.

As Shirkey left through Detroit Metro Airport, activists greeted him and chanted "protect our vote" as he printed out a boarding pass and got in line to walk through security.

It became unclear if Chatfield was still planning on attending the meeting Friday morning after Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she received a text from him while she was speaking on CNN that he hasn't confirmed if he was going yet.

"The speaker just texted me that he hasn't confirmed whether he's going or not," said Benson. "So we'll leave it at that."