Mike Lindell—”the MyPillow Guy”—is a right-wing political activist, conspiracy theorist, and election denier who became part of Trump’s core team of attack dogs actively spreading the Big Lie and committed to overturning the 2020 presidential election results before Biden was allowed to take the oath of office.
As the founder and CEO of MyPillow, a pillow and bedding company based in his hometown of Chaska, Minnesota, Lindell was also a primary funder of stop-the-steal efforts and events. Prior to making millions in the pillow business, he ran other small businesses in Minnesota, including bars and a carpet cleaning company. Lindell also claims to have struggled with drug addiction for extended periods, as described in his 2019 self-published autobiography What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.
January 6, 2021
- Lindell financially sponsored a two-week “March for Trump” bus tour that ended in Washington on Dec. 14, 2020, and spoke at five stops on the tour. He and others on the tour claimed that the election had been stolen and demanded “election integrity” while stopping in East Coast states that Trump lost to Biden.
- Lindell attended D.C. rallies prior to the Jan. 6 insurrection and posted a photo on Facebook showing him with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn with the caption, “It has been a long day so far! Becoming great friends… it’s an honor to help General Flynn! Donald J. Trump is going to be our president for 4 more years!”
- In June 2021, Lindell called the attack on the Capitol “a setup,” falsely claiming that left-wing activists posing as Trump supporters were responsible for the violence (while also admitting that he never watched any footage of the riot).
- In early 2022, the House Select Committee subpoenaed Lindell’s phone records but he resisted, telling reporters, “I wasn’t there on January 6th and yes they did subpoena my phone records but we filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the January 6th committee and Verizon to completely invalidate this corrupt subpoena.”
- In September 2022, the Justice Department subpoenaed “all records and information” on Lindell’s phone as part of its ongoing investigation into coordinated efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.
- As of April 2022, Lindell was an honorary board member of Turning Point USA, one of the organizations that cosponsored the Save America rally in Washington that fired up the crowd prior to the violent attack on the Capitol.
The Big Lie
- In September 2020, Lindell helped amplify a video produced by Project Veritas that claimed to show “systemic voter fraud” undermining Trump’s candidacy.
- On Jan. 15, 2021, Lindell met with Trump to present “six pages of notes with unfounded claims that China and other countries stole the election from him along with a litany of other strange theories,” according to Vox. Lindell’s presentation also included discussion of invoking the Insurrection Act, which allows a president to declare martial law and deploy the military and National Guard to maintain law and order.
- In December 2021, Lindell said that he had spent $25 million since the November 2020 election on spreading the Big Lie—and that he would continue to invest more.
- Lindell spoke at a Trump rally on Jan. 15, 2022 and continued to regurgitate claims that the 2020 election had been stolen. He also criticized Fox News for devoting too much time to covering the Biden administration, complaining, “When was the last time you saw anyone on Fox talk about the 2020 election?”
- As of February 2022, Lindell faced defamation lawsuits from election services companies Smartmatic and Dominion over his unfounded allegations that their voting machines had rigged the election in favor of Biden. Smartmatic’s lawsuit calls the millionaire “crazy like a fox” but says he “knows exactly what he is doing, and it is dangerous. Lindell intentionally stoked the fires of xenophobia and party-divide for the noble purpose of selling his pillows.”
- After Lindell’s repeated allegations of voter fraud in Idaho, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (R) and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden (R) sent him a cease and desist letter, along with a bill for election audits. The officials say that Idaho spent more than $6,500 on an audit of the state’s ballots in the 2020 election and found a negligible amount of irregularities.
- Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman led the efforts to investigate the results of the 2020 election in the state and attended an August 2021 symposium led by Lindell in South Dakota to find “any information that will be helpful in carrying out my duties as special counsel.”
Post-2020 Election Subversion
- Since the 2020 election, Lindell has become a leading financial supporter of right-wing media that focuses on lies and conspiracy theories about the election, according to the New York Times, and has become one of the leading advertisers on Fox News.