While a wave of White House staffers and CEOs have tried to distance themselves from President Trump after the Capitol riot, the White House is still receiving visitors from those who remain loyal to the president.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was photographed by Jabin Botsford, a staff photographer for The Washington Post, toting a coffee and a partially covered sheet of paper that mentioned the phrases “martial law if necessary” and “Foreign Interference in the election” as he approached the White House’s doors on Friday.
In the photograph Botsford shared on Twitter, the paper Lindell, the founder of the bedding company, was holding also mentioned Sidney Powell and moving “Kash Patel to CIA Acting.”
Powell was an attorney working on the Trump legal team on election cases and was dropped from the team after she voiced conspiracy theories around voting. Patel is a Trump loyalist who was named Pentagon chief of staff in November.
The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman said Lindell told her he was “carrying notes” from a lawyer who is working to build a case that Trump won the November election, and he insisted the papers he was carrying didn’t mention “martial law.”
Haberman also said that Lindell was trying to meet with Pat Cipollone, counsel to the president. “It got contentious, in part [because] supposedly on the blacked-out part of his notes was something about how Cipollone should be fired.”
Once up there, he insisted on meeting with Cipollone. It got contentious, in part bc supposedly on the blacked-out part of his notes was something about how Cipollone should be fired.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 16, 2021
She said an administration official said Trump “wasn’t really entertaining what Lindell was saying.”
But an administration official says Trump wasn't really entertaining what Lindell was saying. Lindell also seemed frustrated he wasn't getting more of a hearing.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 16, 2021
Lindell has been a vocal supporter of the president. MyPillow even offered a “FightForTrump” discount code on its website for customers to receive money off their pillows on Tuesday.
After Trump supporters were done storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, Lindell took to Twitter to baselessly claim that “Antifa and the left” was behind the attack on the governmental building. Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, has said there is no evidence that so-called Antifa activists were behind the violence at the Capitol.
Lindell has also pushed false claims of election fraud, leading to Twitter flagging posts made on Sunday and Monday as posing “a risk of violence,” and thus preventing them from being liked or shared.
The Globe’s wire services was used in this report.
Lauren Booker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.