Mike Lindell, chief executive of Minnesota-based MyPillow Inc., seems to play the cheerleader for former President Donald Trump, who is like the drunk guy screaming on the corner with his junk hanging out. It’s an awful sight, but you can’t look away. Both men, though, are mentally exhausting as they spew debunked conspiracy theories to try to get the twice-impeached one-term president back in power, even though there is no Constitutional mechanism to do that while Joe Biden is in office.
Journalist Anne Applebaum from The Atlantic spent some time with Lindell, and she said, “In the time I spent with Mike Lindell, I came to learn that he is affable, devout, philanthropic—and a clear threat to the nation.”
And I’ve heard Lindell described as a nice guy before. Still, actual nice guys don’t try to overturn a legitimate election. Applebaum met Lindell with Steve Bannon of all people, who she described as “decomposing in front of our eyes for some years now.”
“In the room adjacent to the basement studio, an extra-large image of a New York Times front-page hung on the wall, featuring a picture of Bannon and the headline “The Provocateur.” A bottle of Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol, whatever that is, sat on the desk,” she writes. “The big-screen TV was tuned to MSNBC. This wasn’t surprising: In his podcasts, Bannon carries on a kind of dialogue with Rachel Maddow, playing her sound bites and then offering his own critique. Later, Lindell told me that if it weren’t for attacks by “the left”—by which he means Politico, the Daily Beast, and, presumably, me—his message would never get out, because Fox News ignores him.”
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Lindell is spending a lot of cash on his attempt to overturn the election.
“And now Lindell is spending on more than just advertising. Last January—on the 9th, he says carefully, placing the date after the 6th—a group of still-unidentified concerned citizens brought him some computer data. These were, allegedly, packet captures, intercepted data proving that the Chinese Communist Party altered electoral results … in all 50 states,” the report continues. “This is a conspiracy theory more elaborate than the purported Venezuelan manipulation of voting machines, more improbable than the allegation that millions of supposedly fake ballots were mailed in, more baroque than the belief that thousands of dead people voted. This one has potentially profound geopolitical implications.”
Lindell has spent “tens of millions” on his project.
Applebaum said that Lindell should be taken seriously by pointing to similarly eccentric businessmen like American businessman Henry Ford, whose anti-Semitic ravings influenced Nazi leadership in the 1930s, and others who she said represent the “extreme edge.”
“Their business success gives them the confidence to promote malevolent conspiracy theories, and the means to reach wide audiences,” she writes.
“Communists, he told me, “take away your right to free speech. You just told me what they are doing to these people”—he meant the Uyghurs,” she writes. “I’ve experienced it firsthand, more than anyone in this country.”
“I don’t see anybody arresting you,” she said.
“Okay, I’m not talking about the government,” he said. “I’m talking about social media. Why did they attack me? Why did bots and trolls attack all of my vendors?”
He sounds just like Donald Trump.
You can read the full interview here.