Lindell said he was pulling his ads “immediately and indefinitely,” saying “shame on Fox” for refusing to run the ad for the symposium.
“It’s unfortunate Mr. Lindell has chosen to pause his commercial time on Fox News given the level of success he’s experienced in building his brand through advertising on the number one cable news network,” the network said in a statement to Insider’s Matthew Loh at the time.
But according to a new report from The Daily Beast, the tables have turned, with Fox now turning down Lindell.
Lindell told the outlet he first approached Fox just weeks after cutting ties, in an attempt to mend the advertising relationship and promote his new social media network, FrankSpeech.
He has since pitched at least four commercials to Fox, all of which have been rejected, according to The Daily Beast.
Fox News confirmed to the outlet that as recently as this week, it had rejected two ads from Lindell, though it did not provide reasoning for the decisions.
But Lindell told Insider that Fox doesn’t like the content at FrankSpeech.com.
“Fox is only turning down ads that have frank or frankspeech in the title,” Lindell said in a message.
He told The Daily Beast that at first Fox did not want any mention of the cyber symposium or election fraud, but that commercials he pitched without these factors were also turned down.
“They said I couldn’t mention the words ‘Frank’ or ‘FrankSpeech,'” he told The Daily Beast Thursday. “It was the fastest reply we’ve gotten. But if I removed the words ‘FrankSpeech’ it might have cleared, but it would have just been a MyPillow ad, which I said I’m not doing! Outrageous!”
Lindell has been an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump and a steadfast proponent of conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, even as he faces down lawsuits from election technology companies Dominion and Smartmatic.
Fox News and some of its hosts have also been targeted by the lawsuits over their coverage of the election.
Fox News did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on Friday threatened an investigative journalist who wrote several exposés about him, calling him “an enemy of the country.”
In a live stream posted on his social media platform, Frank, Lindell vowed to “go after” Salon investigative reporter Zachary Petrizzo.
“I going to spend a lot more money, Zachary. I’m not out of money contrary to your little thing here,” Lindell said. “We are going after this kid.”
“Zachary is an enemy … He’s an enemy of our country,” Lindell added.
Petrizzo has written several stories about Lindell and his unsuccessful quest to prove voter fraud at the 2020 presidential election.
He recently reported that Lindell allegedly paid more than $3 million to “white hat hackers” who were meant to reveal evidence that China helped President Joe Biden “steal” the election. However, the experts did not deliver.
In a statement to Insider, Petrizzo said: “Unfortunately, Mr. Mike Lindell is more interested in lying about a reporter than a 1.3 billion dollar lawsuit against him from Dominion. Sounds like his priorities are backward! As to having me criminal charged? I wish him luck in that venture. I’ll keep my head on a swivel for the pillow police!”
“Mr. Lindell knows our Salon investigation is showing first hand that he was conned! More to come on that next week,” he added.
Mike Lindell reportedly paid more than $3 million to several advisers and “white hat hackers” who failed to provide evidence of voter fraud at the 2020 presidential election, Salon reported.
At Lindell’s 72-hour “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the experts were meant to reveal concrete proof that China helped Joe Biden “steal” the 2020 election, but this did not happen.
Rob Graham, a cyber expert who attended the event said it was just full of “random garbage that wastes our time.”
For its report, Salon spoke to Josh Merritt, a former member of Lindell’s “red team,” at the event, who said the money was split among a group of Lindell’s cyber experts.
Merritt told the outlet that most of the money went towards a $1.5 million luxury home in Naples, Florida, for Dennis Montgomery. According to the outlet, Montgomery is a discredited former government contractor and part of Lindell’s inner circle.
The reported purchase appears to have been completed on July 12 – weeks before Lindell’s voter-fraud event. According to Salon, Montgomery did not even attend the event.
Montgomery did not return Salon’s request for comment.
Khaya Himmelman, a reporter for the Dispatch, attended Lindell’s cyber symposium. She told Salon: “It’s so obvious Lindell was taken for a ride. I’m not surprised about Montgomery’s involvement, but I couldn’t have guessed a house in Florida was involved. I’m only left wondering how Lindell fell for it.”
Salon reached out to Lindell for comment but said he hung up. Lindell did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has said he is providing a safe house for a Colorado county clerk amid an FBI investigation into her role in an alleged plot to leak election data to a QAnon leader, according to Vice News.
Two weeks ago, when Griswold issued an order authorizing her staff to travel to Mesa County to inspect the election system, Peters was on her way to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s“cyber symposium” in South Dakota, Vice News reported.
Lindell told Vice News on Wednesday that, following the symposium, a member of his own security team leaked the secret location she was staying in, the media outlet reported.
Peters is now “holed up” in a new safe house, Lindell said.
“She’s worried about her safety. These people are ruthless,” he told Vice News.
Lindell said the event would prove his voter-fraud theories
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 at the event included conspiracy theorists Ronald Watkins, Raheem Kassam, and Steve Bannon, as well as the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
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.
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
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
A pro-Trump election official in Colorado is accused of assisting in the compromising of voting machines and allowing someone to leak sensitive data to a prominent QAnon influencer, according to Vice.
Tina Peters, a county clerk in Mesa, Colorado, and so-called “Trump Truther,” permitted surveillance cameras to be turned off for up to two months, it is alleged. During that time, she has allowed someone to steal information that was then leaked to QAnon figurehead Ron Watkins, the media outlet reported.
At some point in May, Peters’s office reportedly ordered officials to turn off the surveillance cameras monitoring Mesa County’s voting equipment, according to evidence from Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State Jenna Griswold.
The cameras were not turned on again until this month, Vice reported, which broke the equipment’s “chain of custody” and means that the machines cannot be used in November’s city, town, and school district elections.
“This is troubling for the entire state of Colorado to have someone in a trusted position, literally trusted to protect democracy, allow this type of situation to occur,” Griswold said during a Thursday press conference. “To be very clear, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder allowed a security breach and by all evidence at this point assisted it.”
On May 23, an unknown person gained access to one of the Election Management Systems machines from Dominion Voting Systems used by Mesa County, Vice reported. That person was then able to download an image of the machine’s hard drive, a process repeated on May 26, a cybersecurity expert told Vice.
On May 25, Dominion employees visited the country to conduct a highly-regulated “trusted build” upgrade to the voting machines’ software, the media outlet said.
According to state law, only staff from Griswold’s office, Mesa County, and Dominion are permitted to be in the room during a “trusted build.”
Peters, however, invited an unauthorized non-employee into the room during the process, the Associated Press reported. She misled Griswold about his employment status, CBS Denver said.
While the unauthorized man was there, he allegedly illegally captured footage of the machines being updated.
On August 2, this footage was posted to Watkin’s Telegram channel. The former 8chan owner and administrator has fervently promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, and some people believe that him and his father could be the infamous ‘Q.’
According to Griswold’s team, the footage included an image that accidentally linked the leak to Mesa County.
Griswold issued an order last week authorizing her staff to travel to Mesa County to inspect the election system, but when they arrived, Peters was nowhere to be seen.
While speaking at the event, the Colorado Newsline reported that Peters accused Griswold’s office of “raiding” her county’s office.
At the South Dakota symposium, Vice said that Watkins showed the audience images that appear to have been taken from the Mesa County machines on May 23 and May 26.
Griswold’s office is investigating the security breach, Colorado Newsline reported. An investigator with 21st Judicial District Attorney Dan Rubinstein’s office is also looking into related potential criminal conduct, according to the local paper.
Dominion and Smartmatic have launched a series of defamation lawsuits against individuals and groups who spread election fraud conspiracy theories related to their voting machines during the 2020 presidential election.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, people turned to alternative ways to vote in the election, and voter fraud conspiracy theories quickly sprung up.
One posited that Dominion and Smartmatic developed technology that “flipped” votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden through a method developed with the regime of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez.
Its customer support number received a voicemail message saying “we’re bringing back the firing squad,” it wrote in the suit in January. The need for heightened personal security cost Dominion $565,000, according to the lawsuit, bringing its total costs attributed to the vote fraud claims to almost $1.2 million.
Dominion’s lawsuit alleges that Powell’s claims caused the company business losses after she baselessly accused the company of fraud, election rigging, and bribery.
“Powell’s statements were calculated to — and did in fact — provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm,” Tom Clare, the attorney representing Dominion, wrote in the lawsuit.
The 124-page defamation lawsuit also outlines how Powell raised money from her media tour peddling her conspiracy theory through a corporate vehicle called “Defending the Republic,” also named as a party in the lawsuit.
Powell responded by tweeting that the lawsuit “is baseless & filed to harass, intimidate, & to drain our resources as we seek the truth of #DominionVotingSystems‘ role in this fraudulent election.”
The company claimed that Powell and Giuliani used right-wing media outlets like Fox News to make their conspiracy theories go viral.
“These defendants are primary sources of much of the false information,” the company said. “Their unfounded accusations were repeated by other media outlets, journalists, bloggers and influencers the world over.”
In the lawsuit, Dominion accused Giuliani of creating “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion,” referring to more than 50 of his statements.
Through hearings, television appearances, Twitter, and his own YouTube show, it said, Giuliani repeatedly accused Dominion of election fraud and misrepresented the company’s security measures while doing so.
He “cashed in by hosting a podcast where he exploited election falsehoods to market gold coins, supplements, cigars and protection from ‘cyberthieves,'” Dominion wrote in the lawsuit.
The 107-page document also cited numerous other people who said they believed Giuliani’s claims, which it argued demonstrated the scope of the damage.
“Rudy Giuliani actively propagated disinformation to purposefully mislead voters,” Dominion CEO John Poulos said in a statement. “Because Giuliani and others incessantly repeated the false claims about my company on a range of media platforms, some of our own family and friends are among the Americans who were duped.”
In a statement, Giuliani said he welcomed the lawsuit and suggested he had not previously done a thorough investigation of Dominion’s practices.
Dominion’s lawsuit accused Lindell of repeatedly making false allegations while knowing there was no credible evidence to support his claims. As well as rallies, interviews, and a two-hour movie, Lindell used his social-media profiles to spread his baseless claims of voter fraud.
“I looked at it as a great day for America when they sued me,” Lindell added. “I can put the evidence for the whole world to see, and it’ll be public record, and the media will quit trying to suppress it.”
On March 26, Dominion also filed a lawsuit against Fox News. The $1.6 billion suit – its biggest yet – claimed that the network gave prominence to the election-fraud claims as a tactic to revive viewership as ratings dropped after President Donald Trump’s loss.
The voting-technology company said that Fox News “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”
In a statement, Fox News said: “Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.”
While several of its news shows reported that there was no evidence of Dominion’s systems changing votes, Fox News, in particular its opinion hosts, “questioned the results of the election or pushed conspiracy theories about it at least 774 times” in the two weeks after the network called the race, according to Media Matters.
Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs by Smartmatic
Newsmax was slow to acknowledge the reality of Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election. Dominion accused Newsmax of promoting falsehoods about the company in order to compete with Fox News, which had correctly recognized Biden’s victory in November.
“Newsmax chose to prioritize its profits over the truth,” the lawsuit said. “For Ruddy and Newsmax, the facts did not matter. What mattered was feeding the audience what it wanted — even if it was spreading false information. And the race to the bottom began in earnest, dragging Dominion down with it.”
After the election, the network also hosted Powell and Giuliani. By allowing them to spout their false theories unchallenged on Newsmax’s programs, this amounted to defamation, Dominion said.
Newsmax representative Brian Peterson told Insider that the media organization was simply reporting on what notable figures said.
“While Newsmax has not reviewed the Dominion filing, in its coverage of the 2020 Presidential elections, Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress — Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press,” Peterson said.
The lawsuit accuses Byrne, a staunch Trump ally, of waging “a defamatory disinformation campaign against Dominion” in collaboration with Powell, Giuliani, Lindell, and others. This includes pushing election conspiracy theories in television appearances, a blog series, a book, and a film, Dominion said.
“Byrne continues to stick to his manufactured, inherently improbable, profitable, and demonstrable lies,” the lawsuit said.
Dominion is ‘still exploring’ whether to sue Trump over election lies
Lindell’s claims were meritless, according to Rob Graham, a cyber expert who attended the symposium. “He gave us experts NOTHING today, except random garbage that wastes our time,” Graham tweeted Wednesday.
He added: “All day Mike Lindell has been on stage saying the cyber experts are happily working on packet captures. We are not. We haven’t been given the packet captures we were promised.”
Packet captures are intercepted network data obtained by other hackers. Lindell claimed the packet captures from the November 2020 election could be unencrypted to reveal evidence of voter fraud.
Harri Hursti, another attendee and election security expert, doubled down on criticism towards the event. He told The Washington Post that Lindell’s symposium was “a big fat nothing and a distraction,” adding that, “they have fed us with garbage just to control the narrative.”
Cyber expert Josh Merritt, who said he was hired by Lindell to study data for the event, told The Washington Times that the data his team had access to wasn’t enough to prove that China hacked the election.
While Bannon is pro-Trump, Salon reported that he, too, was skeptical about Lindell’s claims, stating that he needed to see additional evidence.
One expert in cyber security and technology told the outlet that even if Lindell’s data claims were correct, he could face legal charges. “You can’t just pull this kind of information from a remote, you have to have a physical device sitting there that is providing this information,” the expert said.
The expert said the only way Lindell could have accumulated the kind of data he claims about voter fraud is by inserting a physical device that can “watch information that is going in and out of a network,” which is wiretapping and a breach of federal law.
Lindell did not respond to the specific concerns raised by the expert, Salon reported.
Lindell attempted to have thisdefamationlawsuit against him dismissed during a hearing in June. But US District Judge Carl J. Nichols on August 11 ruled that the three defamation lawsuits against Lindell and Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, which are seeking more than a billion dollars in damages from each party, are slated to proceed in full.
Nichols noted in his judgment that the First Amendment offers “no blanket immunity” to Lindell in the Dominion lawsuit. The company alleges it was defamed by Lindell’s false claims that it rigged the election against Trump.
The judgment comes one day after Dominion filed lawsuits accusing right-wing media networks One America News and Newsmax of pushing false theories about the election.
After news that his attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed came out at around 6 p.m. on August 11, Lindell was seen on video getting off his seat and rushing off-stage abruptly, disappearing behind a dark curtain.
At press time, Lindell had not returned to the stage, and the live stream of the cyber symposium was replaced by a video reel showing news articles touting voter fraud claims next to an image of Lindell hugging a pillow.
Lindell told attendees on August 11 that he intended to stay on stage for three days straight.
“We’re not going on a break,” Lindell said. “You guys can go eat. That’s fine, but I ain’t eating! I’m staying up here for 72 hours.”
Mike Lindell has launched another attack on Fox News, this time implying that he wouldn’t trust the news station 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 is a leading promoter of conspiracy theories positing that China helped Joe Biden to “steal” the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. Lindell has promised to reveal 37 terabytes of information related to voter fraud at his cyber symposium in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which ends late Wednesday.
Reporters from media outlets including Salon and The Dispatch attended the event. A spokesperson for Fox News told CNN that the network hadn’t sent a reporter.
“Shame on you, Fox,” Lindell said at the event, per The Washington Times. “Disgusting that they haven’t talked about this election.
“It’s disgusting,” Lindell said. “What happened to reporting the news?”
Fox News did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Lindell, a staunch ally of former president Donald Trump, 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 voter-fraud “cyber symposium” event, at which Lindell launched his latest attack.
“Fox has already been sued by Dominion and Smartmatic, so if you’ve already been sued, why would you not want to pour out the evidence that you were talking about before anyway?” Lindell said in April.