Michigan GOP official: Trump a 'malignancy' who spouts 'lies' about election

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Delta Township — One of two Republican members of Michigan's Board of State Canvassers blasted Donald Trump during a Tuesday meeting, calling the former president a "malignancy." 

Tony Daunt, who's also a member of the Michigan GOP's state committee, made the comments after a presentation by state Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, whose Senate Oversight Committee led a seven-month investigation into the 2020 election and found no evidence of fraud.

“I just want to thank you, the committee, for having the courage to do this report, to put the information out there without leaning on the scales, for having the courage to stand up against the malignancy that is Donald Trump and the people who have lacked the courage to stand up to him for the last six months," Daunt said to McBroom.

Tony Daunt

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Norm Shinkle, the other GOP member of the Board of State Canvassers, adjourned the meeting soon after Daunt's remark. The board is in charge of certifying election results in the state.

After the meeting, Daunt, a longtime figure in GOP politics, said it's unfortunate that Trump continues to "spout lies" that the election was rigged.

Democrat Joe Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes, or 3 percentage points. The state Senate's probe, dozens of court rulings and bipartisan boards of canvassers have reinforced the outcome despite unproven claims of fraud by the former president and his supporters.

"All of the evidence is contrary to that," Daunt said of Trump's fraud claims. "He is leading a lot of good people astray. He’s filling their heads with lies.”

Trump's claims are damaging to the fabric of the country and the Michigan Republican Party's chances of winning elections in the future, the canvasser said.

"There are too few voices in positions of leadership in the Republican Party making those kinds of statements," Daunt said when asked why he made his Tuesday comments.

As for Shinkle, who is also a member of the Michigan GOP's state committee, he said he didn't adjourn session because of Daunt's comment. The meeting was ending regardless, he said.

Shinkle said he wasn't sure what Daunt had said and attempted to clarify the remark with him afterward.

The GOP has to come together to be successful in 2022, Shinkle added.

In January, the Michigan Republican Party nominated Daunt and two others for a position on the Board of State Canvassers. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, picked Daunt to fill the role.

The party's leadership had declined to renominate Aaron Van Langevelde, who had cast the deciding vote in November to certify Michigan's election.

In recent days, Trump has continued to criticize Michigan Senate Republicans after they issued their report on the election last month. In a Monday statement, Trump said, "American Republican Patriots will primary the RINO State Senators in Michigan who refuse to properly look into the election irregularities and fraud." The term RINO stands for "Republican in name only."

cmauger@detroitnews.com .