MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell blasted Twitter after he was permanently banned from the platform for continuing to spread misinformation about election fraud, saying that if Twitter can silence him, it can silence anyone.
Speaking on Fox News on Tuesday night, at one point Lindell claimed that the social media company was even secretly posting on his behalf while his account was suspended in a previous incident.
After being allowed back onto Twitter following the previous suspension, Lindell continued to spread debunked election fraud theories and claimed that a voting machine company hired trolls and online bots to ruin his business.
That’s when Twitter pulled the plug, explaining Lindell’s ban from the service on Monday night as being due to ‘repeated violations of the company’s policy on election misinformation.’
Lindell is the latest conservative voice to be axed or suspended from the platform after the former president himself and other members of his family were booted from the service.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, 59, has spoken out over Twitter after his account was suspended for ‘repeated violations’ of Twitter policy
Lindell, 59, had his account permanently suspended for ‘repeated violations’ of Twitter’s civic integrity policy, a spokesman said – weeks after Trump himself was banned from the site
The suspensions have sparked debate over whether tech companies should have the power to shut down speech – with some saying that falsehoods need to be squashed, but others saying that Americans should be free to debate without fear of being policed for their thoughts.
Twitter said Lindell had been banned ‘due to repeated violations’ of its Civic Integrity Policy.
To date, there has been no evidence of voter fraud. But Trump and his supporters say the election was rigged in Joe Biden’s favor.
Lindell has stated several times that Dominion Voting Systems somehow switched millions of votes in swing states during November’s presidential election.
The allegations are without foundation. The fraud would have needed to involve hundreds of elections officials from both parties.
Lindell continued to back Trump’s false claims the 2020 election was rigged and that the social media company was secretly posting on his account
Still, Carlson said Lindell should have the right to air his views.
‘If you’ve now been shut down, it seems pretty clear they are sending a message,’ host Tucker Carlson said. ‘People in the public recognize they cannot step out of line because you might convince others to do the same. Do you take another message or do you think that’s why they’re doing this to you?’
Lindell said: ‘Last spring, I spoke out from the Rose Garden and I said we should get in our Bibles and reach out to Jesus, stay with our families, we were attacked then.
‘This time, about 17 days ago, when someone put up on the Internet actual new machine election fraud, I retweeted it, and they took my Twitter down. Now when they took it down – this is interesting – they didn’t take it down all the way. I just couldn’t do anything and they were running my Twitter like they were me,’ Lindell alleged.
‘My friends are going “You’re not tweeting very much and when you do…” — I said I’m not doing that! So I try to take it down and I got something from Germany saying these are Twitter rules and you cannot do this, take anything down. So they ran my Twitter for 14 or 15 days.’
Twitter hadn’t released any statements in the wake of the allegations aired on Fox on Tuesday night.
The MyPillow CEO then accused Dominion, the voting machine maker, of hiring ‘hit groups and bots and trolls’ to go after his vendors without providing any evidence.
‘I thought the rules were if you think someone is saying something incorrect, you explain how it’s incorrect and you convince his audience that you’re right and he’s wrong,’ Carlson said to Lindell. ‘When did that go away? When did we decide force was the only answer to disagreement?’
‘Right. I can’t even livestream on Facebook, they’ve shut it down,’ Lindell responded as he went on to repeat the same false claims about Dominion.
MyPillow supremo Mike Lindell, pictured with Donald Trump at the White House last year, has been permanently banned from Twitter for violating the website’s civic integrity rules
‘I’ve been all-in trying to find the machine fraud and I found it. So all these outlets that have been calling me – from the Washington Post, New York Times, every outlet in the country – they go, “Mike Lindell, there’s no evidence and he’s making fraudulent statements.” No, I have the evidence, I dare people to put it on. I dare Dominion to sue me because it would get out faster. They don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want that, they just want to say: “Oh, you’re wrong.”‘
‘They’re not making conspiracy theories go away by doing that,’ Carlson replied as he failed to challenge Lindell on his debunked fraud conspiracies.
‘You don’t answer, you don’t make people calm down and get reasonable and moderate by censoring them,’ Carlson continued. ‘You make them way crazier. Of course!’
Lindell is facing a lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems for his repeated claims that their machines were rigged in favor of Biden.
Dominion already filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who led the former president’s efforts to spread baseless claims about the 2020 election.
The lawsuit seeks more than $1.3 billion in damages for the voting machine company, a target for conservatives – including Lindell – who made up wild claims about the company, blaming it for Trump’s loss and alleging without evidence that its systems were easily manipulated.
SOME OF LINDELL’S CLAIMS
Lindell has repeatedly claimed on Twitter and in interviews that the election was rigged.
He says that Dominion Voting machines were rigged to register votes for Biden.
Dominion is threatening to sue him
CAPITOL MOB WERE ANTIFA IN DISGUISE
He claimed during Newsmax interview: ‘There were probably some undercover antifa that dressed as Trump people’.
DIETARY SUPPLEMENT OLEANDER CURES COVID
Lindell claimed on CNN that Oleander, a dietary supplement that is made by a company he sits on the board of, can cure coronavirus.
Anderson Cooper called him a ‘snakeoil salesman’ for putting lives at risk with the false claims.
Meanwhile, Lindell had already been ‘canceled’ by some of his biggest buyers, including Bed Bath & Beyond and Wayfair, for his continued support of Trump and the ‘Stop The Steal’ Campaign
Lindell supported Trump’s campaigns financially and was his campaign chair in Minnesota. He also spoke several times in praise of the former president, including once in the Rose Garden.
He visited the White House earlier this month but Trump cut their meeting short. Lindell had brought with him notes on martial law and the Insurrection Act, according to reports.
It was unclear which of Lindell’s now-deleted tweets had led to his being banned, but Twitter’s civic integrity policy tries to moderate misinformation around elections on the site, the company says.
Many of Lindell’s claims had been red-flagged by Twitter as disputed, and he deleted a post last month calling on Trump to declare martial law in seven states.
While he said he opposed the Capitol insurrection on January 6, he voiced support for spurious theories that Antifa impostors were involved in the riot.
Even after Biden took office last week, Lindell said he was still holding out hope that the Supreme Court would somehow reinstate Trump.
Lindell is also thought to have political ambitions of his own and reports say he is considering a run for governor of Minnesota, a state that Trump lost narrowly in 2016 and by a bigger margin in 2020.
But Lindell says that Trump told him: ‘Mike, if you did it, I would get behind you’.
Lindell’s suspension is the latest in a series of high-profile social media bans in the wake of the January 6 riot, in which a violent mob egged on by Trump invaded the halls of Congress to stop Trump’s defeat being certified.
It follows Trump’s own ban on January 8, along with tens of thousands of followers of a bizarre and unfounded conspiracy theory known as QAnon.
Even before his Twitter ban, Lindell was among the Republicans raging at ‘cancel culture’ after companies cut ties with MyPillow.
On January 15, Lindell visited Trump in the White House. He brought with him notes on the Insurrection Act and Martial Law. Trump is said to have cut the meeting short within minutes
HOW MIKE LINDELL WENT FROM CRACK ADDICT TO CHRISTIAN PILLOW PITCHMAN TO QANON SPOUTING TRUMP ADVISER
With his preternaturally dark hair and mustache, ubiquitous TV ads and triumph-over-tragedy personal story, Mike Lindell should be the perfect pitchman for his pillows.
But his advocacy of Donald Trump appears to have taken him into darker and more dangerous territory, carrying notes about ‘martial law’ to the Oval Office for a meeting with Trump on his last Friday in the White House.
Lindell, 59, was a small-time Minnesota businessman who became addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol, losing his wife with whom he had four children to divorce because of it, but – according to his often-told story – still managed to invent his MyPillow in 2004 and turn it into a success.
The pillow itself is a patented foam design and from the beginning Lindell manufactured it in his native state and put its Made in America credentials in the pitch.
In its first years Lindell sold it at mall kiosks and state fairs but his own life had a dramatic change, he says, in 2009, when he became sober, putting it down to the power of prayer.
Cleaned up, he recorded a 30-minute live-audience infomercial at the cost of $500,000 in 2011 and watched the success take off – with Lindell the focal point as much as the pillows.
With tranches of TV ads Lindell made a fortune – not without bumps on te way including settling a lawsuit for claims the pillows helped with snoring and divorcing his second wife after less than two months of marriage – and made his evangelical faith and then his allegiance to Trump as much part of his pitch as his products.
They appear to have first met in August 2016 and he jumped on the Trump train, going to the first presidential debate in October, and speaking at a rally that November.
Since then he has become a regular rally performer, even pitching a run for Minnesota governor in 2022 – which he has not mentioned recently – and chairing the state’s Trump campaign.
At the rallies he would be introduced as ‘the MyPillow guy’ to cheers and describe Trump as ‘chosen by God,’ tout his own faith and soak up the applause.
A fairly regular White House presence, he touted to Trump an unproven COVID ‘cure,’ oleandrin, whose manufacturer he had a stake in.
Ben Carson, a distinguished neurosurgeon turned Trump cabinet member, took it. He succumbed badly to the infection; Carson has not maintained a medical registration for some years.
Lindell devoted himself to Trump in the weeks before the 2020 election, appearing at multiple rallies and convincing the president he would win Minnesota, which he lost handily.
But after the election defeat Lindell became obsessed by Trump’s claims of voter fraud and has pushed them at every turn, including on the Right Side Broadcasting Network YouTube channel which he has a financial stake in.
He lambasted Fox News for its coverage even though he is thought to be its biggest single advertiser, and he pushed the outer fringes of conspiracy theories from discredited ‘Kraken’ attorney Sidney Powell.
He appears to have funded the Right Side Broadcasting Network, a YouTube channel which aired rallies from the March for Trump bus tour whose speakers included Lindell and Lin Wood, the even more fringe attorney who suggested Mike Pence should be executed.
Among the cast of ‘reporters’ on RSBN’s coverage were other Trump rally regulars including the ‘wall guy’ who wears a suit which represents the Mexican border wall. The suit is designed to look like it is made of bricks, when the wall is in fact steel and rebar. The ads were inevitably for MyPillow.
Lindell also appears to gave developed a relationship with Mike Flynn, the national security advisor who lied to the FBI, got a pardon, then went to the Oval Office and advocated martial law.
So discredited were Lindell’s fraud claims that Newsmax had to cut him off live on air but he was unstoppable: on the day of the MAGA riots he was in D.C., then after they happened he spouted claims that the whole event was staged by Antifa.
From a private jet a few days later he recorded a message that ‘Donald Trump will be our president for the next four years.’
On January 20 his faith in Trump was not rewarded: his claims got the same F rating from reality which his company did from the Better Business Bureau.
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