The Republican Governors Association on Tuesday threw out Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and a top Trump ally, after he showed up to its spring conference in Tennessee, he told POLITICO in an interview.
Lindell said he had flown to Nashville on Monday to attend the three-day meeting starting on Tuesday, but that only a few minutes after he collected his credential at the JW Marriott Hotel, an event coordinator in the lobby told him he was not allowed at any of the official RGA events.
An RGA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday night that Lindell tried to join transportation for members only for a dinner at the Tennessee Governor’s Mansion and was denied. The person added: “These events are for RGA members, and Mike Lindell is not currently an RGA member.”
Lindell rose to political fame in the last year as he became a top ally of then-President Donald Trump, even speaking at a White House event in the early weeks of the pandemic. Trump called him a friend during that Rose Garden press briefing. After the 2020 election, Lindell became one of the most prominent people touting Trump’s falsehoods about a stolen election, and he hosted a feature-length documentary on the One America News Network about the subject.
Lindell went to the White House a number of times during the last year of Trump’s presidency, including a few days before the inauguration of President Joe Biden. On one occasion he was photographed carrying a document talking about “martial law.”
Lindell on Tuesday shared a screenshot of a calendar event headlined “RGA – Nashville Meeting” with the attachment “Nashville Agenda.pdf,” and said he had been invited to the event in the last month or two. He also shared the schedule of RGA events for Tuesday and Wednesday that had the word “CONFIDENTIAL” at the bottom.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lindell had gone on Steve Bannon’s radio show and promised to confront Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, RGA’s chair, about the election and allegations of fraud in their states.
Hundreds of people are attending this week’s conference in Nashville, the organization’s first widely attended event to be held since the start of the Covid pandemic more than a year ago.
In February, Lindell was sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion in a defamation suit accusing him of repeatedly and falsely saying that Dominion’s voting machines had stolen the election for Biden.
Lindell has attended previous meetings of the RGA, including the winter 2020 meeting, where a few Republican governors encouraged him to run for governor of Minnesota. Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell brought him to that event, but Lindell was not with McDonnell at the hotel on Tuesday. Trump has also encouraged Lindell to run.
Lindell said in the interview on Tuesday that instead of staying the next few days in Nashville, he was going to the airport to leave the city on his private plane.