MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is under heavy fire on social media after a photo of him heading into a meeting with President Donald Trump showed him carrying notes that appeared to urge the president to invoke “martial law if necessary.”
Lindell, a regular advertiser on popular Fox News programs including Tucker Carlson Tonight, has been one of the outgoing president’s top boosters of false claims that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was due to a “stolen” election. Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford shared a partially obscured image of notes Lindell was carrying into the White House on Friday, revealing the call for martial law and other emergency “powers,” which many interpreted as an appeal for an illegal last-minute power grab from the twice-impeached outgoing president.
CNN analyst Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, tweeted “I think the FBI might need to have a chat with My Pillow guy,” before later adding “he’s planning a(nother) coup.”
“To sum up: Fox’s top advertiser, the linchpin of the network’s primetime commercial breaks, was at the White House urging the president to do a self-coup to stay in power,” tweeted Matthew Gertz, senior fellow at watchdog Media Matters for America.
“I don’t know about you, but I’ll be sleeping a lot better at night starting next Wednesday, knowing the My Pillow Guy is no longer part of Oval Office conversations on national security (or more accurately undermining national security),” filmmaker Julie Cohen tweeted.
“Retweet if you want to kick the my pillow guy in the nuts,” musician and actor Sebastian Bach tweeted. The tweet had been retweeted at least 2,400 times at time of publication.
“Lots of jokes about the My Pillow guy but ask yourself this: does anyone know who Biden’s pillow guy is? we’re about to have a president who has no advisors from the pillow industry, let that sink in,” author and comedian Sarah Cooper tweeted.
In December, Lindell tweeted but quickly deleted a call for Trump to impose martial in states that he had lost. MyPillow has continued to advertise on Fox News despite Lindell souring on the network after it called the election for Biden.
Fox News has faced months of criticism from some of Trump’s most ardent supporters after correctly reporting that Biden won the election, although some of the network’s opinion hosts continued to entertain election conspiracy theories. Nielsen ratings have recently plummeted, with both CNN and MSNBC beating Fox News for the first time in 20 years on January 8.
While MyPillow has remained, other advertisers have moved away from the network over controversial statements from opinion hosts like Tucker Carlson. Last month, advertiser ButcherBox pulled ads from Carlson’s show after he suggested that incoming first lady Dr. Jill Biden was “borderline illiterate,” although they continued advertising on the network during other shows.
Newsweek reached out to MyPillow and Fox News for comment.