Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, has launched a three-day “cyber symposium” aimed toward offering incontrovertible proof that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump by an evil cabal of hackers and politicos.
Among the many quite a few rightwing figures in media, enterprise, and GOP politics which have pushed the conspiratorial election fraud claims, Lindell stands out as one of many motion’s most distinguished nutcases. Having apparently made it a mission to preach the gospel of Trump wherever he goes, Lindell has been selling his bizarre occasion for weeks—even occurring CNN, the place he got into a heated argument with Drew Griffin in regards to the validity of his doubtful claims.
The cyber symposium, held in Sioux Falls, S.D. Aug. 10-12, is now being constantly live-streamed by way of the businessman’s buggy farce of a web site, Frank, and is meant to function arduous information that proves (as soon as and for all!) that votes have been manipulated in favor of Joe Biden final November.
The occasion has attracted a bizarre mixture of attendees, together with a who’s who of Trump’s most influential supporters. Steve Bannon, the alleged architect of the former president’s profitable 2016 marketing campaign, has been photographed around the event. Equally, rightwing conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins (who has been pinpointed because the likeliest “Q” of QAnon), additionally video-streamed into the symposium so as to add his two cents. Even Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (an alleged Trump pal), for some reason showed up.
Whereas Lindell has promised to current “world-changing” data that can power the Supreme Court docket to reinstate Trump as president, that data has not proven up but and he largely appears to be simply making stuff up as he goes. Living proof: He kicked issues off properly on Tuesday by claiming that the occasion itself had been hacked. “The entire know-how was attacked,” he babbled to the audience, later rambling, “We have to get the phrase out as a result of they blocked the factor. However that is a part of what I’m going to speak about right this moment. That is the cover-up. This is absolutely the cover-up of the worst in historical past.”
At one level, Lindell additionally confirmed all people a video, which appears to put out the grand narrative for his conspiratorial imaginative and prescient. It alleges that the 2020 election was stolen by a cabal of deep-state goons, the Chinese language authorities, George Soros (?), and corrupt electioneering distributors like Dominion Voting Methods.
Whereas, admittedly, America’s actual deep state goons aren’t above stealing the occasional election (or simply, like, killing a nation’s political leaders and changing them with fascist friends), the claims which have emanated from the Trump crowd signify only one unsubstantiated over-the-top declare after one other, the likes of which sound like aborted storylines from a foul comedian e book.
Extra relevantly, ongoing audits and evaluations by knowledgable safety professionals have repeatedly debunked lots of the claims made by Trump acolytes—not that it issues a lot to them.
Maybe essentially the most absurd a part of Lindell’s entire “symposium” stunt is that he has supplied $5 million to any cybersecurity skilled who can take a look at his “information packets” and show that claims of voter fraud are incorrect. Feels like straightforward cash, proper?
Properly, plenty of infosec professionals are literally attending the occasion, although none of them appear to be underneath the delusion that they’re going to stroll away with money. Quite, many got here within the hopes of seeing what Lindell is speaking about and as an alternative have weathered an never-ending tidal wave of bullshit. As an alternative of offering the safety professionals with information to research, the pillow vendor has largely simply been messing with them.
Harri Hursti, an election safety knowledgeable who attended the convention, told the Washington Post that the occasion was “an enormous fats nothing and a distraction,” additionally commenting “they’ve fed us with rubbish simply to regulate the narrative.”
Robert Graham, one other well-known safety skilled who attended the occasion, has been live-tweeting most of the previous two days, commenting that Lindell has regularly promised to divulge to them “bombshell” information that proves malfeasance, solely to feed them “random rubbish that wastes our time.”
On Wednesday, Graham tweeted: “All day Mike Lindell has been on stage saying the cyber specialists are fortunately engaged on packet captures. We aren’t. We haven’t been given the packet captures we have been promised. I discussed this as a result of a few of his PR guys got here by seeking to take video of cyber specialists engaged on packet captures. They appear confused by the truth that there’s no cyber specialists who’ve seen the promised packet captures.”
Footage of the convention is like one thing out of It’s All the time Sunny in Philadelphia, besides not as fascinating or enjoyable to observe. Total, this tweet appears to have summed up the expertise of attending—or simply viewing—the occasion:
Sounds about proper.