Mike Lindell Tops 20K Followers Minutes After Launching New Twitter Account

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who was previously banned from Twitter, launched a new account Sunday afternoon, quickly racking up tens of thousands of followers—before being taken down by Twitter within less than four hours.

Twitter made the decision to permanently ban Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, from the social media platform in late January 2021 after he repeatedly promoted baseless claims that the 2020 election results were fraudulent. Trump was banned from Twitter weeks earlier after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, following his encouragement on the platform in addition to his promotion of misinformation about the election.

"Hello everybody, I'M BACK ON TWITTER. My only account is @MikeJLindell! Please RT and FOLLOW to SPREAD THE WORD," the MyPillow CEO wrote in his first Twitter post on the new account published at 1:25 p.m. ET.

Within about five minutes, as Newsweek observed in real time, the account had already been followed by over 20,000 users. As of the time of writing, Lindell had racked up more than 37,000 followers. Shortly after 5:00 p.m. ET, the account had been removed by Twitter, however.

A spokesperson for Twitter told Newsweek that the account was permanently suspended for violating the platform's rules on ban evasion.

"Hello everyone on Twitter this is Mike Lindell," the pro-Trump businessman said in a selfie video included with his first post. "I'm here to tell you about my new account," he said, cautioning his supporters that there are others impersonating him on Twitter. The MyPillow CEO appeared to be sitting in a private jet as he filmed the clip.

"So we started this account. Please share it with everyone you know. Let everybody you know—so we can get the word out over here at Twitter in case they do take it down," Lindell said. "And thanks a lot for helping out."

"Twitter decided to ban Lindell, who founded bedding company My Pillow, due to 'repeated violations' of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and is targeted at fighting disinformation," the Associated Press reported in late January of last year.

Lindell launched his new account as billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is in the process of potentially buying Twitter for some $44 billion. Musk plans to take the social media platform private and has touted the purchase as important for society, saying he aims to protect free speech. Critics of Twitter's management have argued that the social media company has overly censored information and posts shared on the platform.

The MyPillow CEO has become a key promoter of false claims regarding President Joe Biden's victory over Trump. Lindell traversed the country over the past year and a half attending events and rallies to promote the so-called "Big Lie" that the election was stolen. He claims to have spent some $35 million of his own money in his effort to convince people that the conspiracy theory is true. The former president also continues to allege that Biden only won in 2020 due to widespread fraud.

Mike Lindell, Political Activist and CEO
Mike Lindell, Political Activist and CEO of MyPillow attends a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022 in Delaware, Ohio. Mike Lindell Tops 20K Followers Minutes After Launching New Twitter Account Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Despite their claims, dozens of election challenge lawsuits brought by the former president and his supporters failed in state and federal courts. Even Trump-appointed judges dismissed the cases. Audits and recounts across the country—including in states where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans—have consistently reaffirmed Biden's win.

Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, has said repeatedly that there is "no evidence" to support claims of widespread voter fraud being behind Trump's loss. Barr wrote in his memoir published in March that he told the former president directly to his face that the claims were "bulls**t."

Trump critics have raised alarms that the former president will be allowed to return to the platform under Musk's potential leadership. The former president told Fox News on Monday, however, that he will not be coming back to Twitter.

He spoke favorably of Musk's pending purchase of the platform by saying: "I hope Elon buys Twitter because he'll make improvements to it and he is a good man."

Update 5/1/22, 5:17 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a comment from Twitter.