Mike Lindell is having a hard time.
As of Thursday morning, the last day of his “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, Lindell still had not shown anything close to the conclusive cyber evidence he’d promised that Donald Trump won the 2020 election with millions of votes to spare.
What’s more, Lindell said he’d been “attacked” Wednesday night. The MyPillow CEO didn’t offer any detail, but he told the symposium crowd: “I just want everyone to know all the evil that’s out there.”
At the end of the day, that seems to be the theme from Lindell’s symposium: Evil is out there. Somewhere. I just can’t tell you anything about it. Trust me.
So, what happened to Lindell’s latest marquee election fraud event? Here are five points:
Lindell’s own experts say his numbers are bunk
The main event at Lindell’s gathering was supposed to be a haul of “PCAPs,” or packet captures: snapshots of internet traffic. Lindell promised they would show a successful Chinese effort to flip the U.S. election.
But a member of Lindell’s own “red team” went on-record with the Washington Times Wednesday throwing cold water on the whole idea: The storied PCAPs weren’t being made available to researchers.
“So our team said, we’re not going to say that this is legitimate if we don’t have confidence in the information,” the red team member, Joshua Merritt told the Times. (You may remember Merritt from his pseudonym in Sidney Powell’s legal filings: “Spyder.”)
Independent cyber security expert Robert Graham, who’s attending the conference, was even more blunt. Computer experts expecting to examine evidence were instead presented with indecipherable piles of computer characters. “All day Mike Lindell has been on stage saying the cyber experts are happily working on packet captures. We are not. We haven’t been given the packet captures we were promised,” Graham wrote Wednesday. This remained true on Thursday.
The supposed data is from the ‘Hammer and Scorecard’ grifter
Merritt also told the Times that Lindell was using data from Dennis Montgomery — a name that likely set off red flags.
Montgomery was behind the so-called “Hammer and Scorecard” theory, an early favorite among election conspiracy theorists, which posited that a supercomputer was been able to flip massive amounts of ballots.
The conspiracy theorist has a record: He once received millions of dollars in federal contracts after convincing the government that he could decode secret al Qaeda messages in public al Jazeera broadcasts — a proposal that didn’t pan out. His own former lawyer described him as a “con man” to The New York Times.
Montgomery may have been able to help decode the messy data he provided for Lindell’s symposium. But as the Washington Times noted, “Mr. Montgomery reportedly suffered a stroke on the eve of the symposium and has not been in contact with Mr. Lindell’s team or any cyber experts at the symposium.”
Lindell was reminded of the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit he faces in the middle of the symposium
Dominion Voting Systems is suing Lindell for defamation, seeking $1.3 billion. And while Lindell had filed a motion to dismiss the suit, news broke Wednesday afternoon: A judge had said the suit could proceed, writing that Dominion had “adequately alleged that Lindell made his claims knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard for the truth.” The symposium’s livestream captured what followed:
moments after a federal judge ruled that dominion's lawsuits against mike lindell, sidney powell, giuliani, and others can proceed, lindell himself hustles off stage pic.twitter.com/rNbK4iyFyJ
— John Whitehouse+ (@existentialfish) August 11, 2021
Out of options, Lindell mostly resorted to beefing with the media
With the “evidence” piece of his symposium falling flat, Lindell increasingly resorted to calling out members of the audience. That included Salon’s Zachary Petrizzo, who Lindell initially offered an opportunity for an interview on-stage, then backtracked a couple hours later.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, in a late-night text and at the event yesterday, stated he wants me to interview him from the main stage (and he wants to interview me?) – I've obliged with the request. Just need a time and day!
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) August 11, 2021
So I've told Mike Lindell that I would be happy to ask him questions from the stage, so I followed up on when it's going to happen, and the pillow maven lost his cool, texting me, "Lose my number. You are a cancer to our country." Don't know why he's backing down from his offer!
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) August 11, 2021
Lindell also took to reading unfavorable coverage of the event live. Here he is reading a Washington Post article. The pillow magnate even went after Graham, the cyber security expert, throwing down the gauntlet but ultimately, again, not following through:
39/ Wait, what? I’ll come on stage and defend my findings. It’s just that we techies are sitting in breakout rooms in the back and I wasn’t aware of the live feed. I’m out front now. Let’s go!https://t.co/VhimzXi8Sc
— Robᵉʳᵗ Graham @ Sioux Falls cyber symposium (@ErrataRob) August 10, 2021
49/ he called me a coward claiming I ran away — I’ve been sitting here in front the entire time waiting for him to call me onstage to discuss the packet captures
— Robᵉʳᵗ Graham @ Sioux Falls cyber symposium (@ErrataRob) August 11, 2021
On Thursday, Lindell called out Larry Johnson, a writer for the far-right website Gateway Pundit. The site has promoted Lindell’s work and the article in question was skeptical of Merritt, not Lindell, but Lindell didn’t seem to know that: “The red team’s checking into this Larry Johnson. Sounds like he’s CIA,” Lindell said. (Funny enough, Larry Johnson did formerly work for the CIA.)
Mike Lindell rushed the stage to push back against a Gateway Pundit article calling out his fake data and claims the source, a "cyber expert" Mike himself hired, is CIA pic.twitter.com/SKCquBZWvN
— z3dster (@z3dster) August 12, 2021
Faced with failure, they’re blaming ‘radical folks’ trying to infiltrate the convention
Grasping at straws, Lindell opened Thursday’s final symposium day with an old workhorse: Antifa.
Phil Waldron, an old Lindell and Giuliani associate, began by saying that the symposium’s security team had discovered “disruptors inside, trying to get people ejected” and “really radical folks outside, trying to penetrate.”
“This is typical insurrection-type activities,” Waldron added. “This is part of the color revolution.”
“We’ve got antifa things, or people that have infiltrated, they’re telling me this morning,” Lindell added separately, before referring to the alleged attack he endured Wednesday night.
“And you know what, I would have said, “No, we’re going to keep going.’ But after what happened to me last night, I’m going, ‘I don’t want that.’ We want to be safe here.”