OROn November 7, 2020, after several days of counting the votes, Donald Trump lost the US presidential election. 60 failed lawsuits and an insurrection later, Trump has still lost the election, but the former president refuses to accept defeat.
Fueled by a group of sycophants and fanciful, including a small-time Pennsylvania politician, an anchor for a far-right news network, and the CEO of a pillow company, Trump now plans to hold rallies in late June where he will find. likely to continue with your fraudulent claims of a stolen election.
Despite the fact that the election has been repeatedly investigated and declared “the safest in the history of the United States” by a group of experts, the former president is said to be convinced that the result of the election will be annulled.
Like those in his close circle who wage a series of quixotic battles on his behalf.
Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and a Trump confidant who claims to have evidence showing voting machines were hacked by China, told The Guardian that Trump would return to office in August or at the latest in September.
“With me, they keep saying, ‘It’s a conspiracy, Mike Lindell, he’s crazy, blah, blah, blah,’ all these things,” Lindell said. “But I think it gives the whole country hope because they know me and they know that I wouldn’t be out there if I wasn’t 100%.”
Lindell, who is being sued for $ 1.3 billion by voting machine maker Dominion for his repeatedly stated conspiracy theory that the company misrepresented the election results, might not be giving the entire country hope, but Trump and 53% of Republicans who I think won the election are definitely getting a boost.
Trump’s aspirations are also being bolstered by Doug Mastriano, a failed Republican candidate for Congress. in 2018 who now represents one of Pennsylvania’s 50 state senate districts, and Christina Bobb, host of One America News Network, a right-wing channel that has faithfully spread claims of election meddling, despite no evidence of widespread fraud.
Apparently, the lack of evidence hasn’t stopped Trump from creating the hype. The Washington Post reported This month Trump is wowed by a politically charged vote count in Arizona, while according to the New York Times the 45th president, prompted by the likes of Lindell, does. believe He will return to the White House this summer.
“His primary focus is Maricopa County and all of the audits that are going on in the country here,” said Lindell, whose friendship with Trump grew over the past four years and flourished as the pillow connoisseur became a of the loudest voices of the voters. fraud.
“I think that gives him the most hope because everyone can see that,” Lindell said. Republicans have pushed for audits in several key states, even though previous audits found no evidence of wrongdoing in any state in the country.
As Trump concentrates on his audits, Lindell has focused his energies on a mysterious batch of data that he says was given to him (he won’t reveal who gave it to him) on January 9.
Lindell claims that the data shows that the Dominion and Smartmatic machines were hacked by China, which switched votes from Trump to Biden. The results, he says, are conclusive.
“If you were at a crime scene, and you had blood DNA and you had a movie of who did it, this is some of what you have here, only better,” Lindell said.
The US government’s cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency disagrees. In a sentence address “electoral security rumors versus reality,” the agency said The voting system safeguards prevent exactly what Lindell is trying to prove.
Last November, the best cybersecurity experts inside and outside the government issued a joint statement saying that the election was “the safest in the history of the United States”. They added: “There is no evidence that any voting system has removed or lost votes, changed votes, or been compromised in any way.”
None of that has deterred Lindell, who said he spent more than $ 12 million of his own money trying to reverse the election. “I have had private investigators, I have had lawyers, I have invested money in my own social media platform, I just … every waking moment is in my efforts to get this out,” he said.
As Lindell works his way through the post-election conspiracy theory landscape, the other main attempt to reverse the election is occurring at the local level.
The main hopes of Republicans seem to rest in Arizona, where the Republican-controlled state senate is conducting its own audit of the election result in Maricopa County, even though multiple audits have already confirmed the election results.
The firm hired to conduct the audit, Cyber Ninjas, has little experience in elections, its CEO has promoted conspiracy theories that the election was fraudulent and that the audit has been funded, at least in part, by figures aligned with Trump, suggesting that it may not be a completely neutral effort. But it has thrilled many on the right.
Bobb, the OANN host, has been a repeat visitor to the audit. “Why Christina Bobb’s OAN ‘Coverage’ of the Arizona Audit is Misleading and Dangerous,” read a headline on the republic of arizona newspaper this week. Bobb has discussed the effort with Trump and his team, the Washington Post reported. Although nominally acting as an audit reporter, Bobb has also been fundraising for entrepreneurship.
Bobb interviewed Mastriano when the state senator visited Maricopa County in early June and declared what happens there as “the world’s first forensic audit.”
The couple share more than just a passion for false claims of voter fraud. Like Bobb, Mastriano is said to have been whispering in Trump’s ear, and has order a Maricopa-style audit in Pennsylvania. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, the far-right member of Congress, has endorsed a similar audit in his state of Georgia, where multiple tallies have already confirmed Joe Biden’s victory. There is also a push for an audit in Michigan.
There is no direct way for the supreme court to annul the elections, “in the same way that sharks cannot grow their legs when ordered and walk to land,” as Business experts say – but people like Lindell, Mastriano and Bobb will keep pushing. And in any case, the shilling for Trump has its benefits.
Mastriano, unknown until recently, has seen a barely imaginable rise in his fame and is expected to run for governor of Pennsylvania next year. Trump has promised to campaign on her behalfMastriano told a local radio station, while Rudy Giuliani titled a Mastrian event in May. Bob has seen his profile grow inexorably and become a star in right-wing circles.
However, it seems unlikely that Lindell, cowering with his secret data and cybersecurity experts, will see any benefit.
He was being mentioned as a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate before his plunge into the electoral fraud conspiracy, which has cost him both credibility and confidence. ability to sell your pillows at Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s and other big name stores.
However, Lindell will continue his solitary march. His next step, he said, would be to hold a “symposium” in July, where cybersecurity experts and journalists can examine his data. You haven’t picked a state, a date, or sent invitations yet, but you have high hopes.
Once people have seen his information, Lindell said, he would petition the supreme court and ask it to revoke the presidential election and reinstate Trump.
“Just because it hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean that when you’ve committed a crime of this magnitude, you don’t look at it and you don’t deal with it,” Lindell said.
“I think they will move very fast. It could be August, it could be a month or so late. “
He added: “It will be this year. I don’t see what other option they have. “