(KUTV) Senator Mike Lees public relations team is working to smooth over what it is calling some muddy, comments by the senator to KUTV's Chris Jones last night on 2 News at 10. When asked if he would follow the lead of other lawmakers who are donating or deferring their pay checks during the current government lockdown, he emphatic that he would keep his money. KUTV's Chris Jones asked the senator if he would give up his pay during the shutdown, Lee responded, Uh. I don't. Jones continued, You will continue to be paid, right? The senator responded, I'm working, Ill continue to be paid.
Dozens of members of congress have announced they would defer payment during the funding crisis, among them, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Many consider Cruz and Lee to be the head of the faction that has led to the government shutdown. This morning, popular websites Buzzfeed and Huffington Post picked up the story. Moments later, Lees team announced they intended all along to donate the senators salary to charity, but Brian Phillips, Lees Communications Director says Lee did not say anything last night because he didn't want to grandstand, " Mike Lee is not the kind of guy to make a big theater production about what and why he gives his money to charity. He's not Ted Cruz or Rand Paul." says Phillips.
Phillips has since contacted Buzzfeed claiming KUTV's story was wrong, and that he had demanded a retraction. At the time of this story Lees team has yet to ask for a correction. Meanwhile, 2News stands by its story, you can hear the complete, taped conversation with Lee below.
By: Chris JonesSenator Mike Lee, a Republican, is the junior senator from Utah. He was elected in 2010. Previously he was Assistant US Attorney in Salt Lake City and general counsel to Governor Huntsman. Mike Lee and his wife Sharon live in Alpine, Utah and have three sons.
Click Here to listen to the entire conversation between Chris Jones and Mike Lee.
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