U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township.
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township, Michigan, Oct. 30, 2020.

Legislative leaders from the Midwestern U.S. state of Michigan said Friday after meeting with President Donald Trump that they had no information that would change the outcome of the presidential election in their state, which initial vote counts showed former Vice President Joe Biden won.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, both Republicans, said in a joint statement that “as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors.”

They said they “have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

The two men met with Trump at the White House as Trump’s campaign continued to challenge Biden's November 3 presidential victory based on unfounded allegations of voter fraud.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said ahead of the meeting that it was not an “advocacy meeting” and would not include campaign officials.

“There will be no one from the campaign there. [Trump] routinely meets with lawmakers from all across the country,” she said.

Giuliani unavailable

CNN reported that Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was not able to attend the Friday meeting because he was self-isolating after his son tested positive for the coronavirus. Giuliani, who has worked to support Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results, had earlier told Fox 5 New York that he would attend the meeting to “answer any questions.”

After failing repeatedly in court challenges throughout the country to undermine Biden’s victory by questioning the legality of the vote count, the president and his legal advisers have reached out directly to Republican legislative leaders to see if they are willing to take steps to reverse the election results in their states.

Biden unofficially won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes. The state, however, has not yet certified the results while Trump and his allies keep trying to persuade judges and state legislators to exchange the statewide popular vote with Republican-chosen electors.

The White House meeting was scheduled after Trump took the unusual step of personally calling two Wayne County, Michigan, election officials earlier this week who had agreed to certify results in their county. But the officials said they reconsidered their decision after speaking with Trump.

Wayne County, which includes Detroit, is Michigan’s most populous county and one that voted heavily for Biden.

As Shirkey left Detroit for Washington on Friday, he was met by activists carrying signs with the slogans “Respect the Vote” and “Protect Democracy.”

Earlier this week, Shirkey said that Biden was the president-elect. He said that any attempt to award Michigan’s electoral votes to Trump was “not going to happen,” according to the news outlet Bridge Michigan.

What Happens Next?

What It Means to Become President-Elect in the US

In the United States, Democrat Joe Biden is being called the president-elect.

President-elect is a descriptive term not an official office. As such, Biden has no power in the government, and he would not until he is inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.

American news networks, which track all of the vote counting, determined on November 7 that Biden’s lead had become insurmountable in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to be president. Within minutes of determining his lead was mathematically assured, they projected him as the winner.

That is why news organizations, including VOA, are calling Biden the "projected winner."

Sometimes, in the case of particularly close elections, when news networks make this call, the other candidate does not concede victory. President Donald Trump has not done so, alleging voter fraud without substantial evidence and vowing to fight on. The president’s position has left Washington lawmakers divided, with Republicans backing a legal inquiry into allegations of vote fraud, even as they celebrate other congressional lawmakers who won their races.

When will the dispute be resolved?

The U.S. election won’t be officially certified for weeks. In the meantime, court challenges and state recounts could occur.

So far, the Trump administration has not provided evidence for any fraud that could overturn the result, but there is still time for more legal challenges.

Once states have certified the vote, pledged electors then cast their votes in the Electoral College in mid-December. Congress then certifies the overall Electoral College result in early January, about two weeks before Inauguration Day.