NASHVILLE — The Republican Governors Association this week bounced MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, from its annual conference held in Nashville, according to a published report.
Citing an unnamed RGA official, Politico reported that Lindell sought to board transportation ferrying governors from a downtown hotel Tuesday to a members-only dinner at the Tennessee governor's mansion, hosted by Republican Gov. Bill Lee.
Lee Communications Director Laine Arnold referred a Times Free Press reporter to an RGA spokesperson, who in turn referred a reporter to the Politico story, published Wednesday.
The unidentified RGA official told Politico that Lindell tried to join transportation for a dinner at the Tennessee Governor's Mansion and was denied. The person added: "These events are for RGA members, and Mike Lindell is not currently an RGA member."
Lindell told Politico he had flown into Nashville on Monday to attend Republicans' three-day conference, which began Tuesday. He said shortly after collecting his credentials at the JW Marriott Hotel, he was told by an event coordinator that he would not be allowed to attend any official RGA events.
Lindell has been a major defender of Trump, both while Trump was president and following his loss in the 2020 election. Lindell has promoted Trump's claims that his reelection was stolen from him, claims that have been rejected by his own administration, state officials, the courts, the Electoral College and eventually Congress.
Lindell and MyPillow have since been sued by Dominion Voting Systems for more than $1.3 billion for defamation over Lindell's election-fraud conspiracy allegations that that company's voting machines snatched victory from Trump and led to President Joe Biden's election.
MyPillow has returned the favor by filing suit against Dominion, seeking $1.6 billion.
Lindell told Politico he had been invited to the RGA meeting in Nashville in the past month or so, showing a schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday. It had the word "CONFIDENTIAL" at the bottom, Politico reported, adding that Lindell also showed an "executive roundtable" badge to the conference.
Lindell later told conservative talk radio host Todd Starnes "they invited me to the dinner at the Governor's Mansion, and right as we were leaving, the handler gave me all my credentials and VIP pass. Three minutes later, he said I couldn't go and was not invited to the rest of the event either."
Tuesday night's dinner at the Tennessee Governor's Mansion was called an "executive roundtable reception and dinner," Politico reported.
It's not clear how much attendees were charged to attend the fundraising event.
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, Lindell appeared on former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon's political program. Lindell criticized Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, the RGA's current chair, both of whose states were won by Biden.
"I don't know how you sleep well at night, Doug, on something like that, and Kemp's even worse," Lindell said on the program.
Biden bested Trump to win Georgia's 16 electoral votes by some 12,000 votes last November. Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won Senate runoffs, giving the party control of the upper chamber. Trump has sought to blame Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for the loss.
In October 2019, Lindell received a far warmer welcome in Tennessee while attending the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Memphis. He wowed attendees with his redemptive story of rising from crack addict to millionaire businessman, while praising Trump at length.
Contact Andy Sher at email@example.com or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @AndySher1.