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Pillows and Madness
Give grifters access to the White House, and you'll end up with no good. Exhibit A: The MyPillow guy.
I almost didn’t write this story. I mean, does a guy who sells pillows and devotes large amounts of his time and money spreading disinformation really deserve to be spotlighted for his impact on the American body politic? Sadly, yes, he does.
It’s tragically laughable to recall when the Republican candidate who lived in a tower and played a serious businessman on TV promised to surround himself with “the best and most serious people” if he became president. This piece could go on and on displaying how ridiculous that claim was—and yes, a list of those “best” people and their crimes may be a coming attraction—but the MyPillow guy Mike Lindell offers a rich illustration of the kind of operators who have advised the man who sat in our Oval Office and who have continued to cheerlead for the stolen election lie and the overthrow of our government.
This reality took on extra significance earlier this week when the FBI, armed with a search warrant, seized Lindell’s cell phone at a Hardee’s drive-through line in Minnesota. Lindell called the seizure “disgusting” and underscored that he relies on his phone for “everything.”
His beloved and increasingly paranoid hero Donald Trump was even more horrified, asserting that this legal event indicated that America is now a “Weaponized Police State,” that “Our Country is a laughing stock all over the World” and the “majesty of the United States is gone.” No, he didn’t grasp his role in turning the US into a laughing stock or stripping away its majesty.
Fact is, his ongoing involvement with the self-confessed former crack cocaine, gambling addict, evangelical Christian and pillow salesman offers one of the clearer examples that the man who occupied our Oval Office had abandoned any notion that governance requires serious expertise and good governance requires understanding of the functions of government. The reliance on the MyPillow guy—a ridiculous reality that has asked us to accept how absurd the political world has become—was a continuous reminder that Trump’s goals had little to do with the actual duties of the office.
Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to Lindell himself, whose likely appeal to Trump emanates from the fact that his infomercials have been aired millions of times, particularly on Fox. He’s reportedly made $300 million in pillow sales and he’s a fanatical Trump supporter. Clearly, his appeal is not his knowledge. Lindell: “I had to learn what a liberal was, what a conservative was. I didn’t know anything about politics. I’m not kidding. I was an addict, I was a crackhead. I didn’t get into politics and I didn’t realize how important they were.”
Lindell met nominee Trump in 2016 at Trump Tower. “I just believed in Donald Trump so much after that meeting with him,” Lindell said later. Savoring the proximity to power and the spotlight that helped him sell pillows to the MAGA crowd—including marketing at the Jan. 6 rally—Lindell was ready to do whatever he could to help Trump stay in power, including and particularly spreading the Big Lie of election fraud.
Consider a few snapshots:
Little more than a week after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and a little less than a week before Trump was evicted, Lindell met Trump and White House lawyers reportedly to share six pages of materials filled with unproven conspiracies, including the insistence that China helped Joe Biden steal the election. Lindell was photographed exiting the White House holding notes that referenced the Insurrection Act that could enable a president to enact martial law and deploy the military in the streets.
In the month after the insurrection, Lindell was the target of a $1.3 billion Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit for spreading false information that its voting machines were rigged and exploiting the lies to advertise to those who believed in the election conspiracy theories. "Lindell—a talented salesman and former professional card counter—sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” Dominion’s complaint asserted. “MyPillow's defamatory marketing campaign—with promo codes like 'FightforTrump,' '45,' 'Proof,' and 'QAnon'—has increased MyPillow sales by 30-40% and continues duping people into redirecting their election-lie outrage into pillow purchases.”
Last year Lindell helped fund the legal defense of Tina Peters, the clerk of Mesa County, Colorado, who was indicted on seven felony counts for her alleged role in copying election software from county voting machines in an effort to prove the election was stolen. Federal agents who seized Lindell’s phone asked him about his ties to Peters, who’s facing charges of identity theft and criminal impersonation, among others.
While information on Peters may be a key reason the FBI interrupted the pillow guy’s fast food breakfast and took his phone, don’t doubt they’ll find plenty of other useful info from this busy texter who’s not much interested in facts. “I do everything off my phone,” said Lindell, noting that he doesn’t own a computer.
And if you need any more reason to explain why he and Trump hit it off? Since the seizure, Lindell not only insisted he would not be intimidated, he’s used the episode to urge his followers to “fight back.” And how might they do so? He told them to buy more of his pillows.
Grifters of the world unite.
As for the breaking news about Judge Aileen Cannon’s reckless decision Thursday, I offer this for now:
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