Hours after an interview surfaced showing Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) saying he will "continue to get paid" during the government shutdown, the Republican's camp appears to have changed course.
During a Wednesday exchange with KUTV-TV, Lee appeared to say that because he was working through the shutdown, he would not forego his $174,000 annual salary. In a statement obtained by BuzzFeed, Lee Communications Director Brian Phillips claimed that KUTV's story is "wrong," adding that Lee will donate to charity for "every day of the shutdown."
KUTV-TV stood by its reporting, posting a full version of the Lee interview on its website Thursday morning. In the phone exchange, Lee is asked about a list of dozens of elected officials who are refusing pay.
"Do you have any plans to do something like that?," the KUTV reporter asks.
"I don't," Lee replies.
"So you will continue to be paid, right?" the reporter follows up.
"I'm working, I'll continue to be paid," Lee responds.
Below, a statement from Lee, as obtained by BuzzFeed.
“All Members of Congress and the President receive pay during a government shutdown as a matter of law. For furloughed federal employees, Congress has traditionally provided back pay and I would support that approach in this case. In addition, after we negotiate a deal with Democrats to reopen the government and pay for federal employees resumes, I will make a donation to charity for each day the government is shut down. I am continuing to work around the clock to write and build support for legislation that will keep government open and end the stalemate.”