Here’s what happened at Mike Lindell’s cyber symposium, from him storming offstage to Bolsonaro’s son giving him a MAGA hat signed by Trump

my pillow ceo mike lindell documentary
Mike Lindell is a leading promoter of baseless voter-fraud conspiracy theories.

  • Mike Lindell just held a 72-hour voter-fraud “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
  • Speakers included Ronald Watkins, Steve Bannon, and the son of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.
  • Here’s what happened.
Lindell said the event would prove his voter-fraud theories

mike lindell trump
Lindell is a staunch Trump supporter.

Mike Lindell, a leading promoter of baseless voter-fraud conspiracy theories, has spent months gathering information that he said would prove that China helped Joe Biden to “steal” the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump.

This culminated in the MyPillow CEO holding a 72-hour “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, between Tuesday and Thursday.

Lindell claimed that he had 37 terabytes of information related to voter fraud to reveal at the cyber symposium, which was livestreamed on his website, Frank. He said he’d give $5 million to anyone who could disprove the data, provided they attend the event in person.

The event featured controversial speakers, as well as a documentary played on repeat

Speakers on stage at Mike Lindell's
Steve Bannon spoke at the event.

Speakers at the event included conspiracy theorists Ronald Watkins, Raheem Kassam, and Steve Bannon, as well as the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Read more: The MyPillow guy says God helped him beat a crack addiction to build a multimillion-dollar empire. Now his religious devotion to Trump threatens to bring it all crashing down.

And in between speeches, attendees watched a series of videos. This included watching the same conspiracy theory-filled documentary four times on Tuesday, Salon reporter Zachary Petrizzo said.

Jair Bolsonaro’s son gave Lindell a MAGA hat signed by Trump

Mike Lindell Eduardo Bolsonaro Steve Bannon at cyber symposium in South Dakota
Eduardo Bolsonaro gave a speech at the event.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, gave Lindell a “Make America Great Again” hat he said was signed by Trump, on Tuesday.

The hat was signed “to Mike, a great patriot,” Lindell said, adding, “Thank you, Mr. President, our real president.”

Bolsonaro then gave a speech about voter fraud in Brazil. Jair Bolsonaro has suggested that Brazil’s voting machines were used to rig the country’s elections, leading to the country’s election authority launching an investigation into Bolsonaro.

Lindell once against blasted Fox News

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Lindell was formerly one of the biggest advertisers on Tucker Carlson’s show.

Throughout the event Lindell slammed multiple news outlets – including another attack on Fox News where he implied that he wouldn’t trust the network to report the weather.

“I said the other day they should be a weather channel,” the MyPillow CEO said Tuesday, per The Washington Times. “And the next day I changed my mind because they wouldn’t report an oncoming storm.”

Lindell has clashed with Fox News several times over the past few months after the outlet stepped up its content moderation and refused to cover some of his debunked theories about the 2020 presidential election.

This culminated in Lindell pulling MyPillow’s advertisements from Fox News last month after it refused to air ads for his cyber symposium. Lindell was formerly one of the biggest advertisers on Tucker Carlson’s show.

A spokesperson for Fox News told CNN that the network hadn’t sent a reporter to cover the symposium.

Lindell invited a reporter to interview him on stage, before called him a “cancer”

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Lindell ranted about a Salon reporter from the main stage.

But Fox News wasn’t the only outlet in the firing line.

Lindell has repeatedly sparred with Salon reporter Zachary Petrizzo during interviews, phone calls, and livestreams.

After ranting about Petrizzo’s work on stage Tuesday, including calling his articles “hit jobs,” Lindell texted him later that night inviting him for an interview.

“Zach go write your garbage, and then we will interview on stage,” the text message read.

But on Wednesday, Lindell took back the offer.

“Lose my number. You are a cancer to our country,” he texted Petrizzo, before calling him “insane.”

Insider viewed screenshots of the messages.

Lindell fled the stage after a judge ruled Dominion could proceed with its lawsuit against him

Lindell rushed offstage when news broke that the $1.3 billion defamation suit voting-machine company Dominion filed against him would go ahead.

Lindell attempted to have the defamation lawsuit dismissed, but a US district judge ruled on Wednesday the suit could proceed in full.

“After news emerged at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday that his attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed was unsuccessful, Lindell was seen on video getting off his seat and rushing off the stage abruptly, disappearing behind a dark curtain,” Insider’s Cheryl Teh reported.

The livestream was instead replaced by a video reel showing articles about voter fraud, alongside an image of Lindell hugging a pillow.

A reporter was reportedly removed from the event – but snuck back in

Mike Lindell
Lindell’s security frog-marched the reporter out of the event.

According to Salon’s Petrizzo, a reporter from far-right outlet The Gateway Pundit was “frog-marched” out of the event Wednesday afternoon.

Petrizzo told Insider that the reporter has been “super rude” and “very aggressive” towards another journalist. Petrizzo said the Pundit reporter also shoved a camera in his face and surreptitiously recorded his laptop.

The Pundit did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Lindell said he got attacked and claimed Antifa was trying to infiltrate the event

Lindell said on Thursday morning that he had been attacked on Wednesday night when he got back to his hotel room.

A Sioux Falls Police Department spokesperson told The Associated Press that his officers had taken a report about an assault at a hotel near the symposium at 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday. They did not say whether Lindell was involved in the incident.

Retired army colonel Phil Waldron said that they had received “credible threat warnings” around two weeks beforehand, and that they had “somebody working in the crowd … detecting threats.”

He added that there were “really radical folks outside trying to penetrate” the event and that attendees were exchanging press badges in the parking lot.

“The big end game is to discredit all the legislators who have had the courage to be here,” Waldron said. “They’re obviously trying to subdue the message that Mike’s trying to get out.”

“So this is a typical insurrection-type activity,” he added.

Lindell also said that his staffers had told him that “Antifa things” were trying to infiltrate the event.

Lindell’s website Frank sent out an email to subscribers Thursday afternoon with the subject: “Mike Lindell and His Cyber Symposium Attacked — Please Share Everywhere.”

The email included video footage of Lindell talking about the attack at the event and Waldron speaking about the alleged security threats.

The event also included prayers and the national anthem

Before launching into a series of speeches, the second day of the symposium started with morning prayers and the national anthem, The Dispatch’s Khaya Himmelman said.

The size of the audience dwindled over the course of the event, according to reports

Salon’s Petrizzo reported on the first day of the event there were “a ton of Republican state legislators and their staffs.”

But not many attendees stayed until the end of the symposium.

Petrizzo said the next day that the crowd had mostly left. “Only about half of the crowd here on day two is back for the third day,” he added Thursday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mike Lindell has launched VIP access to his social-media site Frank, which he says will bar swearing, porn, and death threats

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

  • Mike Lindell’s platform Frank is set to go live on Monday but VIPs can get access from Thursday.
  • Lindell said he’d spent millions of dollars on the site’s security, including its own servers.
  • He described the site as a cross between YouTube and Twitter – but some content will be off-limits.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

You can now sign up for VIP access to Frank, the social-media site being launched by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell but if you choose to join, you’ll still have to be careful about what you post.

Although the site supports free speech, people won’t be able to post swear words, porn, or death threats, Lindell said.

Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, first announced plans to launch his own social-media site in early March, after being banned from Twitter.

Read more: The MyPillow guy says God helped him beat a crack addiction to build a multimillion-dollar empire. Now his religious devotion to Trump threatens to bring it all crashing down.

In a video posted this week to Frank’s static webpage, which first went live in late March, Lindell said he had worked on the site for four years and it would be a “platform like no other.”

Frank uses the tagline “the voice of free speech,” and Lindell has previously said he would use the site to share evidence of his voter-fraud theory, which has been thoroughly debunked.

In the new video, which Newsweek first reported on, Lindell said: “You’re not going to have to worry about what you’re saying.”

He did, however, note that there will be some content moderation on the site. “You don’t get to use the four swear words: the c-word, the n-word, the f-word, or God’s name in vain,” he said. “Free speech is not pornography, free speech isn’t ‘I’m gonna kill you.'”

Details of this would be available in the site’s mission statement when it goes live, he said.

Lindell added that he had spent millions of dollars on the site’s security over the last four weeks because he expected the site to be the victim of cyberattacks.

“We’re going to be attacked, but I have my own servers and everything,” he said. “We’re not going to be worried about Amazon taking it down, or YouTube, or Google, or Apple.”

Social-media site Parler was booted offline by its previous web host Amazon Web Services. It was also shunned by other tech giants, including Apple and Google, after Trump supporters used it to call for more violence during the January Capitol riots because of its lax stance on moderating content.

Lindell said Frank would be “kind of like a YouTube-Twitter combination.”

“You’re going to have your own like YouTube channel, only that’s your Twitter handle,” he said.

A previous description of the site, which has since been removed, said that users would be able to “post videos, livestream television, distribute news and information, and find community and fellowship with likeminded Americans.”

Lindell told “The Eric Metaxas Radio Show” in March that the site is “reverse-engineered,” and that when influencers join, “they will now have a platform where all the people down here follow them instantly.”

“They don’t have to earn their followers,” he added.

Frank’s webpage includes a box where visitors can submit their cellphone number to receive a text code for early VIP access to sign up. Lindell said in the video that people who do would be able to get access to the site at midnight on Thursday.

He said the site is set to launch more widely at 9 a.m. on Monday for a two-day “Frankathon,” during which he’ll broadcast live on the site.

Read the original article on Business Insider