Reaction to text messages from Sen. Lee to the Trump administration about 2020 election

Apr 15, 2022, 1:18 PM | Updated: 4:05 pm
FILE: Photo of Sen. Mike Lee. Photo credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The office of Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has responded to a request for comment on a series of text messages released by the House Select Committee.

These text messages show conversations between Sen. Lee and former President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. The topic of the texts was the result of the 2020 election.

When reached for comment, a spokesman for Lee said the senator’s texts were in line with his certification of the election results. 

“The text messages tell the same story Sen. Lee told from the floor of the Senate the day he voted to certify the election results of each and every state in the nation,” said Lee’s communication director, Lee Lonsberry. “They tell the story of a U.S. Senator fulfilling his duty to Utah and the American people by following the Constitution.”

Sen. Lee’s text messages in context

Sen. Lee’s text messages were obtained by the House Select Committee and then reviewed and reported by CNN.

Lee reached out to Meadows on Nov. 7, 2020, saying he “wanted to offer words of encouragement to the President.”

“I want to offer words of encouragement to the president,” the text reads. “This doesn’t have to come down to a binary choice between (1) an immediate concession, and (2) a destruction of the credibility of the election process.”

Another message released to the Select Committee included a letter to President Trump. A text message shows Lee telling Meadows it could be leaked if it was helpful.

The senator asked Meadows twice for input about what he should be saying, although the context is not clear.

“Please give me something to work with. I just need to know what I should be saying,” read a text dated November 20, 2021. 

And then again on November 22, 2020: “Please tell me what I should be saying.”

Lee competitors, others, respond to texts 

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Becky Edwards, who is running against Lee, responded to the release of the text messages. 

“Sen. Mike Lee researched overturning a lawful, democratic election for partisan and political gain,” Edwards said. “The moment Mike Lee realized the gravity of Trump’s attempts to undermine the 2020 election, he should have stopped researching the legality of such actions and stopped pressuring local legislators.

“Lee has an obligation to protect and defend our Constitution and democratic process, as he swore to do when he took office,” Edwards said. “Instead, he allowed the situation to continue and enabled those seeking to keep themselves in power, no matter the consequences.”

In a tweet, Evan McMullin urged Sen. Lee to “come clean on his involvement” in what McMullin called a “scheme to overturn the election.”

McMullin, a Utahn and former CIA operations officer, ran against Mr. Trump as an Independent in the 2016 General Election. In Utah, he took third place behind Mr. Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

McMullin is running against Sen. Lee as an Independent in 2022. 


Alliance for Better Utah, self-described as a progressive non-profit, tweeted that “Lee must come clean on his involvement” to send “illegitimate electors” from several states.

 The Utah Democratic Party responded to Sen. Lee’s text messages by saying the senator put his party and Mr. Trump before the U.S. Constitution and Utahns.


Editoral note: This article has been edited to reflect that Evan McMullin ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 General Election and that a text message sent from Sen. Lee to Mark Meadows was dated Nov. 22, 2020. We regret the previous errors.

Today’s Top Stories


Jeff Gray is pictured. Photo credit: Jeff Gray Campaign Facebook page....
Lindsay Aerts and Samantha Herrera

Jeff Gray to bring back death penalty after becoming presumptive next Utah County Attorney

In the race for Utah County Attorney, prosecutor Jeff Gray beat incumbent David Leavitt and is expected to take office in January.
17 hours ago
A voter drops a ballot into a box at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Mo...
Becky Bruce

The Utah primary election is expected to be ‘pretty normal’

Tuesday's primary election in Utah is expected to be about average for a midterm election.
3 days ago
A voter fills in the ballot on the voting machine during the Election Day voting at Vivint Smart Ho...
Lindsay Aerts

State elections leaders dismiss state lawmakers claims of vote switching

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — The State Elections Office says all of the state’s voting machines are working correctly ahead of Primary Election Day Tuesday. This comes after Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, made claims on social media, that some of the machines were changing people’s votes. Screenshot of Lyman’s social media post. Lyman posted on Facebook […]
3 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Waverly Golden

Planned Parenthood of Utah files lawsuit against the state

Utah's Trigger Law saw its first challenge on Saturday as Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a lawsuit to block the law that went into effect Friday evening.
4 days ago
marriage Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen firearm codify...
Mark Jones

With Roe v. Wade now overturned, could same-sex marriage be next?

Many people are wondering what precedents the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on next, possibly same-sex marriage. Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says the court could do so it wishes.
6 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Mark Jones

S.B. 174 now in effect in Utah with Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade

With the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Utah trigger law, known as S.B. 174 is now in effect in the state.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Reaction to text messages from Sen. Lee to the Trump administration about 2020 election