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Mike Lindell kicked out of Republican governors’ event after vowing to confront leaders about election

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 5/26/2021 Timothy Bella
Lindell Michael standing on a stage: MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell speaks as he launches his new social media site, Frank, on May 10 in Mitchell, S.D. (Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP) © Erin Bormett/AP MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell speaks as he launches his new social media site, Frank, on May 10 in Mitchell, S.D. (Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP)

MyPillow founder Mike Lindell was thrown out of the Republican Governors Association’s spring conference this week after he showed up to the event in Nashville and vowed to confront GOP governors about his false claims surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

Lindell, a prominent ally of Donald Trump who has championed the former president’s claims of election fraud, said to Politico and confirmed to The Washington Post that a conference coordinator told him that despite being credentialed, he was prohibited from attending any of the official association events during the three-day session. In an interview with The Post, Lindell said he was denied transportation to a Tuesday evening dinner at the official residence of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R).

“These events are for RGA members, and Mike Lindell is not currently an RGA member,” an RGA official told Politico.

The move to ban Lindell from the conference came after he promised to challenge Republican Govs. Brian Kemp (Ga.) and Doug Ducey (Ariz.), the chair of the organization, about the election results in their states — both won by President Biden.

“I don’t know how you sleep well at night, Doug, on something like that, and Kemp’s even worse,” Lindell said of the governors to Stephen K. Bannon, an ex-adviser to Trump, on his radio show Tuesday. “I don’t understand people who are like that, so I just want to understand where they’re coming from. I just want to know why.”

Lindell told The Post on Wednesday that he was informed by an RGA official that he was prohibited from attending the dinner shortly before his shuttle was scheduled to leave.

“He said: ‘I got bad news. I just got a call and you’re uninvited,’ ” Lindell recalled. “I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘It has something to do with Brian Kemp and Doug Ducey.’ ”

Association representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Wednesday.

Lindell has seen his national profile rise since publicly aligning himself with Trump last year and later pushing some of the wildest election-related accusations without evidence. He was sued in February for $1.3 billion by the election technology company Dominion Voting Systems over “false and conspiratorial” claims that the firm rigged the 2020 election against Trump.

The slow, painful death of Trump allies’ voting-machine conspiracy theories

The lawsuits filed against Trump’s lawyers and several right-wing media outlets have brought about awkward broadcast moments involving Lindell as he has continued to support baseless election claims. Newsmax attempted to stop Lindell from making claims about Dominion during an interview, and a host even read a legal disclaimer while talking over the pillow executive. When Lindell refused to stop spouting election falsehoods, the anchor walked off the set in frustration.

Moments before One America News aired a documentary from Lindell that he claimed offered “absolute proof” of election fraud, the cable news network ran a disclaimer detailing how the claims made in the film “are not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as established facts.”

He recently has focused his attention on Maricopa County, Ariz., where the Republican-led state Senate took custody of all the nearly 2.1 million ballots in the state’s most populous county for an audit that has been denounced by local GOP leaders as a “sham” and a “con.” Lindell described Arizona as “ground zero” at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year.

The mess in Maricopa

He repeated his baseless claims Tuesday to Bannon, the conservative provocateur who had his fraud case formally dismissed by a federal judge this week after months of haggling over how the court system should handle his pardon from Trump.

Lindell had reportedly attended the governors’ winter meeting in 2020 as a guest of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell. Some attendees at that event had even encouraged Lindell to run for office, he told The Post, which came as Trump was nudging one of his most vocal allies to do the same.

“They all did. Everybody encouraged me,” he said to Politico at the time. “There was a lot of encouragement.”

Read more:

Chris Ruddy and Newsmax went all-in on Trump. Now they might pay a price for it.

Newsmax apologizes to Dominion employee for falsely alleging he manipulated votes against Trump

‘Our democracy is imperiled’: Maricopa County officials decry 2020 recount as a sham and call on Arizona Republicans to end the process


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