MyPillow backlash: Anger over plans to open store owned by pro-Trump conspiracist in Ohio

An investor claimed the store is not meant to be a “political statement.”

Graig Graziosi
Friday 27 August 2021 22:51 BST
Mike Lindell lashes out at CNN reporter at his election fraud ‘cyber symposium’

Plans to open a MyPillow store in Columbus, Ohio, has been met with fierce opposition from area liberals opposed to the company's Trump-loving CEO Mike Lindell.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a group of investors is planning to open the store in the city's Clintonville neighbourhood, where it will carry exclusively MyPillow brand products.

Area liberals and progressives have voiced their opposition to the store and have had hostile exchanges with the investment team that hopes to open the store.

Roy Hanna, one of the investors, told the paper that the opposition was just a small group of vocal critics.

"It's the loud people, but most liberal or conservative people aren't that loud," he said.

He claimed he has been called a "terrorist, insurrectionist and pedophile" in their criticisms, but noted he may have fanned the flames by calling one of his detractors a "little girl."

The opposition to the store is based solely on its owner, Mr Lindell.

The MyPillow CEO has been an unwavering supporter of Donald Trump and has spent the last 10 months repeating the former president's fraudulent claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

At one point after the election, Mr Lindell was spotted outside the White House awaiting a meeting with Mr Trump holding papers that suggested he was going to encourage Mr Trump to enact martial law to "save the US Constitution."

Since then, Mr Lindell has breathlessly repeated election conspiracy theories, particularly those claiming that China used Dominion Voting System ballot machines to fix the election. Mr Lindell now faces a $1.3bn lawsuit from Dominion for defaming the company.

Mr Lindell recently lost a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed on First Amendment grounds. He learned of the ruling during his much touted "cyber symposium" in which he promised to provide packed capture data that would prove the 2020 election was stolen. That evidence never materialised, and the symposium was largely considered a failure even by conservative allies like former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

Mr Lindell built his brand by running numerous advertisements on Fox News. Since then, he has pulled his ads from Fox News because the network chose not to promote his cyber symposium.

Despite Mr Lindell's clear allegiance to Mr Trump and popularity among conservatives, Mr Hanna said his interest in the MyPillow brand was "not a political statement," and noted his investors included Democrats.

"I liked this product before Trump came into office," he told The Columbus Dispatch.

He said he plans to carry Mr Lindell's pillows, mattresses, sheets and bedding.

Mr Lindell's products have been dropped from major retailers including Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, H-E-B and Wayfair. The companies stopped carrying the products due to consumer backlash against the CEO for his participation in Mr Trump's bogus election conspiracy theories.

Mr Hanna said he was aware of the other retailers' decision, but said he "planned to sell the product because the product's great."

Mr Hanna said his group hopes to open five stores in the area.

“There’s going to be people who react negatively and people who react positively,” Mr Hanna told NBC4. “I hope when the political environment mitigates, people will see it’s a good product.”

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