MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was the first of Donald Trump’s supporters to take the stage on Saturday at a rally in Arizona where the former president and a legion of acolytes dedicated to his false claims about 2020 sought to exact political revenge on their enemies.
Mr Lindell took the stage early in the evening and focused much of his remarks on various figures and entities within the GOP and right-wing power spheres in America, including Fox News, which he faulted for not giving airtime to supporters of falsehoods that Mr Trump has spread about his defeat to Joe Biden.
“When was the last time you saw anyone on Fox talk about the 2020 election?” he asked.
He also had criticism for Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey, a Republican whom Mr Lindell faulted for insufficient loyalty to Mr Trump and “obstruction” of the former president’s attempts to overturn his defeat in the state.
Calling him “rotten Doug Ducey”, Mr Lindell said that the Arizona governor had worked against Trump supporters’ efforts in the state, which culminated in a third-party audit of Arizona election results authorised by the GOP-controlled state Senate; the audit eventually recognised Mr Trump had lost fair and square in Arizona.
Mr Lindell’s speech notably did not focus fire on some of the top targets for conspiracies about the 2020 election which he and others have publicly condemned in the past, including electoral technology company Dominion Voting Systems. The company is currently suing Mr Lindell in a $1.3billion defamation lawsuit.
The former president is expected to echo the same lies about the 2020 elections that he and his followers have spread since the race was called in 2020 at Saturday’s rally. For this reason, members of the Republican caucus in the Senate successfully convinced him to reschedule the event from Mr Trump’s original plan to hold the event as a press conference from his Mar-a-Lago resort on January 6, the one-year anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol.
Democrats and the two GOP members of the January 6 committee used that day to commemorate the attack and remind Americans of the role Mr Trump’s false claims about his defeat led to the siege, while Mr Trump and Republicans have cast investigations into the shocking day of violence as merely an excuse to punish political allies of the former president.