For years, Mike Lindell, the chief kingpin of the bedding company MyPillow, has been a fringe character in Trumpworld. A outstanding Republican donor who made his millions inventing a pillow made from grained foam, Mr. Lindell would regularly pop up as a V.I.P. at Trump rallies. And he was seemingly ever-present on video receiver in the West Wing as the star of MyPillow commercials, which aired constantly on Fox Information.
In July, he met with President Trump at the White House to push an unproven treatment in which he had a economic stake, oleandrin, as a therapeutic for the coronavirus. He is close with Dr. Ben Carson, the secretary of Accommodation and Urban Development, but he has long been dismissed by most of the advisers hither the president as a “nutso.”
And yet, there he was on Friday afternoon, again, standing shell the West Wing, set to have face time with the commander in chief during his concluding hours in power. Mr. Lindell arrived with a concerning agenda: A photograph of his degree visible notes showed that he wanted to speak to the president adjacent to invoking the Insurrection Act and appeared to recommend “martial law if necessary.” He also figured to suggest moving Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist serving as chief of help at the Defense Department, to the position of “C.I.A. Acting.”
It has been easy to treat Mr. Lindell as a comedic bit musician in the story of the Trump presidency. He was a man the president thought was extremely famous because of his beating the drums on cable news. He was a man the president would not dismiss, the way his advisers did, because he did not release anyone who was rich and constantly on television.
“That guy is on television more than anyone I’ve in all cases seen,” Mr. Trump marveled during the 2016 campaign. “Including me.”
Mr. Lindell, how, was never really just interested in bedding. “The pillow is just a podium for a much bigger thing,” Mr. Lindell told students in 2019 at Impudent University in Lynchburg, Va. “My calling is to speak out the word of Jesus.”
In reality, Mr. Lindell is a collusion theorist who has been spreading inaccurate information about election humbuggery since November, when Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the presidential race. Uninterrupted after the violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last week, Mr. Lindell went on small screen to promote the lie that “Donald Trump will be our president for the next four years.” On Friday, he utter he was the emissary of a lawyer working to prove that Mr. Trump won the 2020 choosing, but would not say who the lawyer was.
Mr. Lindell is a former crack cocaine and gambling tripper, who created his company while battling his addictions. He tells his own story in a disquisition, “What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.”
Friday’s meeting was a disenchantment for Mr. Lindell, who spent less than 10 minutes in the Oval Division with the president before being shunted off to the White House Advisor’s Office, where he found no hearing for his proposals.
But it’s not clear whether the convocation was totally useless for Mr. Trump. In his memoir, John R. Bolton, the former public security adviser, wrote that the president had once encouraged him to stir up thank by flashing a yellow legal pad in the White House briefing room, on which Mr. Bolton had scratched notes about sending 5,000 more U.S. troops to Colombia.
“Go receive fun with the press,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton, who claimed he purposefully arrive ated visible what appeared to be “confidential” notes.
Even if he did not intend to act on any of Mr. Lindell’s tinges on Friday night, Mr. Trump, through the antics (intended or not) of his loyal pillowmaking supporter, managed to stir another round of shock on his way out.