WATCH: Republican who called insurrection a ‘hoax’ now ‘regrets’ his ‘insensitive’ comments – but doesn’t deny his claim
Mike Shirkey (Screenshot via

The top elected Republican in the state of Michigan was recorded calling the deadly January 6 insurrection a "hoax," and is now apologizing – without denying his untenable beliefs.

Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told several other Republicans at a local diner the insurrection "wasn't Trump people," it had "been a hoax from day one," and "was all prearranged."

"It was all staged," he added, and claimed then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell somehow “was part of it."

Shirkey issued an apology Tuesday night after the story made national headlines, but as Crain's Detroit senior editor Chad Livengood tweeted, his "statement doesn't say what exactly he's apologizing for."

“I said some things in a videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve," Sen. Shirkey says in his statement, as TribLive reports. “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."

His statement is not a retraction or a denial of his beliefs that the insurrection was a "hoax." It merely says he was carried away and suffered from a "lack of restraint," which came from him being "passionate."

At no point in his apology does he say he does not think the deadly insurrection was a hoax.

The full video is over an hour long. Here is a video report from local Detroit station Fox 2: