MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who was previously banned from Twitter, launched a new account on Sunday afternoon, quickly amassing tens of thousands of followers.
Twitter made the decision to permanently ban Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, from the social media platform in late January 2021 after he repeatedly promoted baseless claims that the 2020 election results were fraudulent. Trump was banned from Twitter weeks earlier after his supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, following his encouragement on the platform as well as his promotion of misinformation about the election.
“Hello everyone, I’M BACK ON TWITTER. My only account is @MikeJLindell! Please RT and FOLLOW to SPREAD THE WORD,” the MyPillow CEO wrote in his first Twitter post on the new account published at 1:25 pm ET.
In about five minutes, like newsweek observed in real time, the account had already been followed by more than 20,000 users. At the time of writing this article, Lindell has amassed over 37,000 followers.
“Hello everyone on Twitter, this is Mike Lindell,” the pro-Trump businessman said in a selfie video included in his first post. “I’m here to talk about my new account,” he said, alerting his supporters that others are impersonating him on Twitter. The MyPillow CEO appeared to be sitting on a private jet while filming the clip.
“So we started this account. Please share it with everyone you know. Let everyone you know – so we can post it here on Twitter in case they take it down,” Lindell said. “And thank you so much for helping.”
newsweek reached out to Twitter for comment.
“Twitter has decided to ban Lindell, who founded the bedding company My Pillow, due to ‘repeated violations’ of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and aims to combat misinformation,” said an Associated Press spokesperson. reported at the end of January last year.
Lindell launched his new account as billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is in the process of potentially buying Twitter for about $44 billion. Musk plans to make the social media platform private and has praised the purchase as important to society, saying he intends to protect free speech. Critics of Twitter’s management argued that the social media company overly censored information and posts shared on the platform.
The MyPillow CEO has become a major promoter of false claims about President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. Lindell has toured the country for the past year and a half attending events and rallies to promote the so-called “Big Lie” that the election was stolen. He claims to have spent around $35 million of his own money in his effort to convince people that the conspiracy theory is true. The former president also goes on to claim that Biden only won in 2020 due to widespread fraud.
Despite his claims, dozens of election challenges filed by the former president and his supporters have failed in state and federal courts. Even Trump-appointed judges have rejected the cases. Audits and recounts across the country — including in states where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans — consistently reaffirmed Biden’s victory.
Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely seen as one of the most loyal members of Trump’s cabinet, has repeatedly said that “there is no evidence” to support allegations of widespread election fraud behind Trump’s loss. Barr wrote in his memoir published in March that he told the former president directly that the allegations were “silly”.
Trump’s critics have raised alarms that the former president could return to the platform under Musk’s potential leadership. The former president told Fox News on Monday, however, that he will not be returning to Twitter.
He spoke favorably of Musk’s pending purchase of the platform, saying, “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’s going to make improvements and he’s a good man.”