After numerous failed attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, now-infamous pillow mogul Mike Lindell has a new plan of sorts: He's begun meeting with Republican lawmakers in deep-red states and plans to send out door-to-door canvassers aiming to prove the election was faked.
Josh Merritt, a former member of Lindell's "red team" at his August "cyber symposium" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, told Salon that Lindell is funding a last-ditch door-knocking effort based on rumors that there are many "phantom voters" — people who have died or moved away — on official rolls. This claim is not new, and has been thoroughly debunked.
Merritt added that Lindell is "targeting areas of question based off info from guys like Dr. Douglas Frank and Seth Keshel." Frank and Keshel are two of Lindell's close associates, who have pushed a variety of baseless claims of voter fraud on the pillow tycoon's behalf over the past year.
In a recent video appearance by Lindell on his Frank Speech website, he discussed why he believes the canvassing effort is important, albeit in his usual tangled grammar and disrupted syntax. "We are in a race here, how much damage they can do before we get this election pulled down," he said last week.
"I want to show everybody with the — with the data in the packet captures —all the stuff we had. What we did over five months, everybody I extrapolated, we had the cyber experts extrapolate that into numbers that we can read into real data. I want to do an example." Telling an assistant to "pull up" a graphic display, "I want to tell everybody the conversation I had with North Dakota today. Well, first of all, for about a month and a half now, you guys, I've been going to the red states. I've been going to your Missouris. Your Alabamas. I'm in Florida right now."
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Exactly what Lindell has been doing in "your Missouris" and "Alabamas" is unclear. Continuing with his monologue, the pillow kingpin declared he now has the "real numbers" from the 2020 election after funding canvassing exercises in numerous states.
"What happened was, all of the ground people, people on the ground, just patriots out there [were] telling their legislators and their governors to meet with Mike Lindell's team," he continued. "'Let him show you the evidence.' So we met with these guys, and we show[ed] them that it happened in their state; you get to Missouri, they go, 'Oh, it didn't happen here.' Alabama, 'Oh it didn't happen here,' and then you show them a county, and you show them the evidence of that county, then you go canvass. You do a canvassing, and now you've got real numbers."
This quest for "real numbers" through door-to-door canvassing efforts does not seem to square well with Lindell's previous claims about his supposed "packet captures," which he has repeatedly said would eliminate any need for audits or canvassing and would deliver all the proof one would ever need that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election.
Lindell and members of his alleged voter fraud team didn't return Salon's request for comment on this story.
Salon was unable to track down any Arizona or Missouri voters who had been personally contacted by Lindell's team. It's certainly possible that voters in those or other states had no idea who was knocking on the door or why.
Lindell seems to think the canvassing efforts are yielding startling results, claiming in a recent broadcast that after the canvassing, an unknown official in a "red state" asked him: "How did dead people vote? How did non-residents vote?"
In recent days, Lindell has not mentioned a deadline for Trump's "reinstatement" as president, which he does not seem aware is a constitutional impossibility. Last month he suggested his still-nonexistent legal case might reach the Supreme Court before Thanksgiving, while also claiming that the U.S. government has attempted to kill him and repeatedly contradicting his own legal arguments in the $1.3 billion civil lawsuit filed against him and various other election-truthers by Dominion Voting Systems.