The truth can be very frustrating when all you have is lies on your side.
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan confronted MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell during his three-day “cyber symposium” in South Dakota this week. The event was supposed to prove once and for all that China was involved in “stealing” the 2020 election from former president Donald Trump. But like the event itself—which lacked any election fraud evidence at all—MyPillow guy’s interview with O’Sullivan was also an epic dumpster fire.
When pressed about providing proof of his claims of election fraud Lindell exploded and astonishingly replied, “Just forget about the evidence.”
Lindell followed the bizarre remark by then deflecting and angrily questioning O’Sullivan about whether he cares about America.
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“If I’m right that China took our country, right now, do you care? Would that bother you? Would that bother you?” Lindell asked.
After O’Sullivan replied, “Of course it would,” Lindell continued his unhinged rant, asking, “Do you think I like to get attacked?”
Another bizarre moment in the segment came from a speaker at the event. After admitting that he didn’t understand anything about the presentation that day, he insisted that CNN and other media should start reporting Lindell’s farcical notions as true and “stop fact-checking.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not a computer guy. I don’t know what most of this stuff means,” the speaker said. “But I’ve been researching this election since November 3rd… CNNs of the world, you guys need to start reporting this and stop fact-checking it.”
Although comical, there’s also a very dangerous side to this carnival show. On Friday, Homeland Security Intelligence chief John Cohen told CNN that false conspiracy theories about Trump and the election are fueling violent chatter among extremists online. And that chatter is “very similar” to what intel saw in the lead-up to the attack on the Capitol.
“It’s very similar to the stuff we saw prior to January 6,” said Cohen.
Cohen said online comments such as “the system is broken,” “take action into our own hands” and “bring out the gallows,” went along with the narrative shared among believers that the presidential election was not legitimate. This has led to calls for violence from extremists to overthrow the election and put Trump back in the White House.
“Concern from a law enforcement perspective is at a certain point in time, all of the conspiracy theories that point to a change occurring through process are going to sort of wear out,” Cohen said. “And the question is going to be, are people going to try to resort to violence in or in furtherance of that false narrative?”
Last week, DHS issued a warning about liars such as Lindell being a motivating factor for an uptick in online calls for violence if the former president isn’t reinstated as president. The bulletin said Lindell’s recent media blitz had been a driving factor behind some of the online chatter moving from extremist forums to “more public web forums.”
“Some conspiracy theories associated with reinstating former President Trump have included calls for violence if desired outcomes are not realized,” the DHS bulletin said.
The bulletin continued: “Over the last few days what has occurred is there’s been much more public visibility, meaning the discussions and these theories have migrated away from being contained within the conspiracy and extremist online communities, to where they’re being the topic of discussion on web forums, or more public web forums, and even within the sort of media ecosystem.”
These conspiracy theories have gone mainstream, and it’s largely thanks to hucksters like Lindell who continue to push Trump’s lies.
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