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Wasatch County

Sen. Mike Lee ducks KPCW’s question on recently released texts, says 'I’m good'

Ben Lasseter
Holding a copy of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee speaks to 231 Wasatch County delegates and many more who showed up to the Republican Party county convention at the Wasatch County Senior Center Tuesday.

At Tuesday’s Wasatch County Republican convention, KPCW spoke to U.S. Sen. Mike Lee. Lee declined to discuss his text messages, which CNN published earlier this month about keeping President Trump in office after the 2020 election.

Senator Lee was in the Wasatch Back to address 231 Wasatch County delegates. About 30 minutes before he did so, KPCW asked Lee to comment on recently released text messages that he sent after the 2020 presidential election.

“I’m good,” he responded. “I’m getting ready to speak.”

The texts CNN released show Lee and then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows exchanged 64 texts between November 7, 2020 and January 4, 2021. In those messages, Lee discussed strategies and asked for talking points about how to keep then-President Donald Trump in office after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election.

According to the CNN report, one of the texts Lee sent to Meadows on November 22, 2020 read, “Please tell me what I should be saying.” On that day, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign seeking to block the certification of election results in Pennsylvania. Also on that day, the Trump campaign requested a recount in Georgia.

Since they were released Friday of last week, Lee hasn’t spoken publicly about the messages.

On Wednesday morning, Lee Lonsberry, Mike Lee's communications director, commented on the text messages to a Deseret News staff writer:

“When Senator Lee reviewed evidence and legal arguments related to the 2020 presidential election, his principal concern was for the law, the Constitution, and especially the more than 150 million Americans who voted in that election. From the moment the electoral college cast its votes in mid-December, he made clear that Joe Biden had won, and would within weeks become the 46th president of the United States absent a court order or state legislative action invalidating electoral votes.” 

Before visiting the Wasatch County convention, Lee attended the Summit County Republican convention. There, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Bryan Schott recorded himself asking Lee questions about the messages, which Lee ignored. A member of Lee’s staff ushered Schott away while telling Schott that Lee only had time to speak to delegates.

In Wasatch County, Lee told KPCW the showing was a stronger one than what he had seen from Summit County Republicans.

“I mean, I expected a strong crowd, but it’s even stronger than I expected,” Lee said. “It was a good-sized crowd in Summit, but this one’s bigger. These conventions are an important part of the process. Delegates within the Utah Republican Party are the lifeblood of the party. This is an important chance to meet, greet and interact with them.”

Lee and five of his six challengers for the Republican Senate nomination made speeches to delegates.

The Utah Republican Party state convention is scheduled for Saturday at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy. There, state delegates will select a Republican nominee for the Senate election in November. If one candidate doesn’t get at least 60% of delegates’ votes, the public will vote in a primary election in June.

Updated: April 21, 2022 at 8:49 AM MDT
KPCW reached out to Sen. Lee's staff to ask for clarification on a statement made in a recording. Communications Director Lee Lonsberry clarified that he said, "I'm getting ready to speak" after saying "I'm good" when asked for comment about text messages.
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