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- American businessman
- 45th President of the United States
Despite months of promising to file an explosive lawsuit that would “pull down” the 2020 presidential election results and reinstate Donald Trump to the White House, pillow-monger Mike Lindell has instead turned his election-fraud-athon into a four-day sales promotion.
“I want to show you guys some Black Friday specials that we’re doing with MyPillow,” Lindell said Friday morning, rattling off sales for pillows and sheets. “That’s the lowest price in history.”
He then went off on a long explanation of why his sheets were made overseas from Egyptian cotton rather than U.S.-grown cotton, with “Save up to 66% off over 110 products” displayed on-screen below him.
“We’re doing stuff that’s over the top to put stuff on sale for Black Friday,” Lindell said.
Lindell has been claiming since summer that he was coordinating a lawsuit among “tons” of state attorneys general, as many as 30, to be filed at 9 a.m. Tuesday directly with the U.S. Supreme Court and that he would spend the long Thanksgiving weekend explaining the suit during an ad-free webcast.
Instead, no lawsuit has been filed, and the show, which featured the same lies about the election Lindell has been spreading for a year, prominently featured Lindell’s pillow ads with its own “promo code.”
“We’re offering the best gifts ever for the best prices ever,” Lindell promised in a frequently repeated ad.
His co-host on “Lindell TV,” Brannon Houze, even explained the purpose of the promo code it was giving: “That’s how we’ll know who’s watching our 96-hour ‘Thanks-athon.’”
Lindell, an informal adviser to Trump who took a memo recommending the declaration of martial law to the White House in the final days of Trump’s presidency, did not respond to HuffPost queries about his failure to file the suit and the airing of advertising during his marathon webcast despite saying that he would not.
In recent days, Lindell has been claiming that the attorneys general who were going to sign on to his suit were pressured out of doing so by Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel.
“Ronna McDaniel better resign today,” he said Thursday.
An RNC spokesperson said McDaniel had nothing to do with Lindell’s failure to get attorneys general to sign on to his Supreme Court complaint. (As of late Friday, McDaniel also had not resigned.)
On Friday, Lindell appeared on Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast, where he was asked: “Where do we stand with these AGs?”
Lindell did not bring up McDaniel and instead said that only one attorney general, Republican Steve Marshall of Alabama, had definitively refused to be involved in the lawsuit. “Most of them have said, Mike, let’s get together after this Thanksgiving week,” he told Bannon.
Lindell had initially promised that the Supreme Court would “reinstate” Trump in August, then moved that target to September, then said it would happen by the end of 2021 as a result of his lawsuit.
Lindell’s access to Trump and his White House has drawn the interest of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol that Trump incited in his last-ditch attempt to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election by 7 million votes. An Aug. 25 letter from the committee to the National Archives requests all Trump White House documents to or from Lindell from April 2020 to Jan. 20, 2021.
Lindell continues to claim, falsely, that China hacked ballots in every single state in cahoots with election machine manufacturers to flip votes from Trump to Biden.
“Donald Trump won this election by millions and millions of votes,” Lindell said late Thanksgiving night.
Voting machine makers Dominion and Smartmatic have sued Lindell and pro-Trump media outlets, including Fox News, Newsmax and OAN, for defamation. The suits have kept Lindell off of those media outlets, leaving him only his own website and Bannon’s podcast to continue spreading his lies.
“The only one who says Dominion anymore is me,” Lindell said Thursday, complaining about his media blackout.
His relationship with Trump, meanwhile, remains as strong as ever. Trump sat down to tape a half-hour interview with Lindell earlier this month, which aired on Lindell’s website, during which the two praised each other while repeating Trump’s false claims about the election. “You’ve done some great things,” Trump said.
Trump in January became the first president in 232 years of U.S. elections to refuse to turn over power peacefully to his successor.
He spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the Nov. 3, 2020, contest that he lost, starting his lies in the predawn hours of Nov. 4 that he had really won in a “landslide” and that his victory was being “stolen” from him. Those falsehoods continued through a long string of failed lawsuits challenging the results in a handful of states.
Trump and some of his advisers even discussed using the military by invoking the Insurrection Act or declaring martial law to retain power despite having lost the election, including by seizing voting machines and ordering “re-votes” in states narrowly won by Democrat Joe Biden.
But military leaders had earlier made it clear they would not involve themselves in the political process, so after the Electoral College finally voted on Dec. 14, making Biden’s win official, Trump instead turned to a last-ditch scheme to pressure his own vice president into canceling the ballots of millions of voters in several states Biden won and declaring Trump the winner during the pro forma congressional certification of the election results on Jan. 6.
Trump asked his followers to come to Washington that day and then told the tens of thousands who showed up to march on the Capitol to intimidate Vice President Mike Pence into doing what Trump wanted. “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules,” Trump said.
The mob of supporters he incited attempted to do his bidding by storming the building. They even chanted “Hang Mike Pence” after the vice president refused to comply with Trump’s demands.
A police officer died after being assaulted during the insurrection, and four others took their own lives in the days and weeks that followed. One of the rioters was fatally shot as she climbed through a broken window into an anteroom containing still-evacuating House members, and three others in the crowd died during the melee.
Though the House impeached Trump for inciting the attack, all but seven Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, chose not to convict him ― thereby letting Trump continue his political career even as faces several investigations into his postelection actions.
Trump and his allies are now engaged in a campaign to portray the rioter who was shot, Ashli Babbitt, as a martyr and the hundreds of others who have been arrested as victims of political persecution. Trump continues to suggest he will run for the 2024 GOP nomination and is using his Save America committee’s money to continue spreading the same falsehoods that culminated in the violence of Jan. 6.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.