Trump leads horrified conservative reaction to FBI taking Mike Lindell’s phone: ‘Weaponised police state’

MyPillow chief executive alleges his cellphone was seized by FBI in Minnesota

Sravasti Dasgupta
Wednesday 14 September 2022 13:33 BST
Related video: Mike Lindell alleges conspiracy plot between Google and Facebook ruined event
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Former president Donald Trump has lashed out at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and claimed the US is now a “police state” after his supporter Mike Lindell apparently had his phone seized by federal agents.

The former president, on his Twitter-like social media platform Truth Social, said Mr Lindell was “raided” by the federal agency.

“Breaking News: Mike Lindell, ‘THE Pillow Guy,’ was just raided by the FBI. We are now officially living in a Weaponized Police State, Rigged Elections, and all. Our Country is a laughing stock all over the World,” he said.

“The majesty of the United States is gone. Can’t let this happen. TAKE BACK AMERICA!” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the MyPillow chief executive – who rose to national prominence for his commitment to long-running attempts to help overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in Mr Trump’s favour – said his cell phone was seized in Minnesota.

“The FBI came after me and took my phone,” Mr Lindell said in a clip of his podcast “The Lindell Report” posted to social media.

“They surrounded me at a Hardee’s and took my phone that I run all my business, everything with. What they have done is weaponise the FBI, it’s disgusting. I don’t have a computer, that phone, everything was on everybody.”

Mr Lindell also found support in Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who said the raid confirmed the “Soviet” nature of the FBI under the Biden administration.

“We told you last night that the Biden administration has politicised law enforcement to the point where it feels Soviet — and we were not overstating it,” he said on his programme.

“The FBI has just raided the guy who sells pillows on this channel, not because the pillows were bad, but because they didn’t like who he voted for.”

Mr Lindell said the FBI questioned him about Dominion Voting Systems, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and his connection to Doug Frank, an Ohio educator who claims voting machines have been manipulated.

The FBI, along with local prosecutors in Colorado, are probing Ms Peters, who was elected in 2018 to oversee elections in Mesa County. She has been charged with several offences, including attempting to influence a public servant, criminal impersonation and official misconduct.

In a statement to the Associated Press, FBI spokesperson Vikki Migoya said: “Without commenting on this specific matter, I can confirm that the FBI was at that location executing a search warrant authorised by a federal judge.”

In August 2021, Ms Peters appeared onstage at a “cybersymposium” hosted by Mr Lindell, where attendees and state officials said a copy of Mesa County’s voting system hard drive was distributed and posted online.

The event sought to prove that voting machines have been manipulated and promised to reveal proof of that during the event, while claiming that the Mesa County breach is one of several around the country.

No independent probes have ever uncovered evidene of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and Mr Trump’s own attorney general Bill Barr said weeks after the vote that, despite the FBI following up on a number of complaints, “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome”.

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