- Mike Lindell flew Gov. Kristi Noem to a RGA conference on his private jet, according to Politico.
- Lindell was booted from the event for plans to confront two governors about the election, per Politico.
- Noem is a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota flew on MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s private jet en route to a three-day Republican Governors Association (RGA) conference in Nashville, Tennessee, this week, according to a Politico report.
Lindell, a high-profile ally of former President Donald Trump, reportedly was booted from the event after planning to grill Govs. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Brian Kemp of Georgia about the 2020 election results in their respective states, per Politico. President Joe Biden defeated Trump in both Arizona and Georgia, significant Sun Belt triumphs for the Democrats, but Lindell has continued to push the former president’s false election-fraud claims.
An official told Politico that Lindell was unable to attend official RGA events since he was not a full member of the organization.
However, Lindell was allowed access to the RGA meeting as a “guest” of Noem and a “prospective member,” according to Politico.
Earlier this week, Lindell told Politico that after arriving in Nashville on Monday and intending to stay for much of the week, he changed course and departed in his jet on Tuesday.
Lindell’s itinerary shift forced Noem to find alternate accommodations for her return home, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke with Politico.
However, Noem spokesperson Ian Fury fully disputes this claim.
“Lindell was not a guest of Governor Noem’s at the conference,” he told Politico. “Neither did her travel plans change following the conference. Governor Noem follows the law and reimburses for flights when appropriate.”
In a phone conversation with Politico, Lindell said that he “is not revealing anybody who goes on my plane.”
“I have people on my plane all the time and I don’t know who told you that,” he said. “I’m not disclosing anything.”
After hanging up, he sent a text message: “Anyone who ever is on my plane is highly confidential! I cannot comment on that or my plane’s flights … This is for security reasons[.] I have had many threats since I went public with the Dominion and machine evidence.”
In February, Lindell was sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion for defamation after repeatedly spreading debunked claims that the company’s machines contributed to Trump’s loss. His products have also been pulled from the shelves by numerous retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond and Costco.
Noem and Lindell have spoken at events together in the past, including a Trump rally in Michigan last September where she criticized Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s implementation of COVID-19 restrictions.
That month, she also campaigned in Minnesota with Lindell for Trump.
“It was an honor to travel to Minnesota with Mike Lindell to support President Trump in his re-election,” she wrote in a Facebook post at the time. “We both understand that we need to leave it all on the table to ensure President Trump wins on November 3rd.
Noem, who faces reelection as governor in 2022 and is widely seen as a likely 2024 GOP presidential contender, recently started a federal PAC called the “Noem Victory Fund.”
According to Politico, most states permit governors to fly on the private jets of friends or associates, but gifts have to be reported “under certain circumstances.”
Under South Dakota law, public officials or their immediate families cannot accept gifts from lobbyists that exceed $100 during a full calendar year.
However, the state lacks any additional regulations on gifts from individuals who are not lobbyists.