Fact Checking Mike Lindell’s ‘Absolute Interference’ Video
The My Pillow CEO is recycling long-debunked claims about the 2020 election.
|Khaya Himmelman||May 10||36||34|
Months after Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow and a Donald Trump supporter, released his first documentary, Absolute Proof, he has come out with another documentary, Absolute Interference, also purporting to show that Trump won the 2020 election. The two-hour documentary, released on April 20, recycles many familiar voter fraud claims that lack evidence. While it hasn’t gotten much attention in the mainstream media, members of Congress report many constituent calls about the film and reporters have said they’re asked about it by voters.
The overarching claim in Absolute Interference alleges that there was “absolute proof” that there was foreign interference in the 2020 election through manipulation of voting machines, like those of Dominion Voting Systems.
Lindell begins the documentary by saying that Absolute Interference will prove election fraud with “the most amazing evidence to add on to what we already have,” which he refers to as “100 percent proof times two.” Throughout the documentary, Lindell interviews various “experts'' who claim to have evidence of voter fraud and foreign interference.
It’s worth mentioning that Dominion Voting Systems is suing MyPillow and Mike Lindell for $1.3 billion for unfounded public statements claiming Dominion played a role in voter fraud. Lindell’s Absolute Proof, which we fact checked earlier this year, is cited in the lawsuit.
Lindell is hosting a rally on May 10 at the Corn Palace in South Dakota to promote “Frank,” a website he has described as a social media platform, which has been used to spread voter conspiracy theories. Since announcing the rally, referred to as the “Frank Rally,” the Corn Palace, which seats 3,000 people, has been receiving around 30 calls a day from people interested in attending the event, reported Yahoo News.
Lindell first interviews former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who claims that countries like China and Venezuela have been able to tamper with election results through voting machines. Flynn says that “what we do know for certain is that these machines are connected to the internet,” he said. The consequence of this, Flynn explained, is that data from the machine traveled across an “electronic highway” into “another country.” This is false. Dominion Voting Systems has clarified on its website that its own voting technology along with voting systems, more generally, are not connected to the internet: “Voting systems are, by design, meant to be used as closed systems that are not networked (meaning not connected to the Internet). It is technologically impossible to ‘see’ votes being counted in real-time and/or to ‘flip’ them.”
What’s more, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has noted on its website that, “Voting systems undergo testing from state and/or federal voting system testing programs, which certify voting system hardware and software.” The agency’s website also notes: “Before use in elections, voting systems undergo hardware and software testing to ensure they are consistent with state and/or federal requirements. Under these programs, voting system manufacturers submit systems to undergo testing and review by an accredited laboratory or state testers. This testing is designed to check that systems function as designed and meet applicable state and/or federal requirements or standards for accuracy, privacy and accessibility.”
Flynn then points to Arizona as evidence for voter fraud through voting machines like Dominion, saying there were 35,000 votes for Joe Biden already pre-set in the voting machines. There is no evidence to support this claim.
It’s unclear what alleged fraudulent Arizona votes Flynn is referring to, we have debunked claims of fraud in Maricopa County, Arizona. Lindell has claimed that there were “150,000 ballots from voters who registered after the registration deadline” in Maricopa County, which isn’t true, as we wrote earlier: “In the month before the election, a federal judge ruled in favor of extending Arizona’s voter registration deadline from October 5 until October 23. An appeals court overturned that decision, and ended registration on October 15. The Tucson Sentinel reported that there were fewer than 20,000 new registered voters--not 150,000--in Maricopa County during the extended period between October 5 and October 15. Furthermore, in December a U.S. district court judge dismissed allegations of voter fraud, specifically claims of illegal votes and foreign interference in Arizona in December, saying that the case was ‘sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence,’ reported USA Today.”
Next, Lindell interviews Dr. Douglas G. Frank, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry. He tells Lindell that he’s “uncovered the algorithm used to control how many elections there are in a county and how many ballots there are in a county.” Frank’s claim, as noted by Lead Stories, originates from another video from Lindell called Scientific Proofreleased by LindellTV. According to the news release: “Dr. Frank’s investigation reveals that the 2010 national census data was used to manipulate the 2020 election rolls and to inject phantom votes into the election totals. His scientific investigation documented and proved that numerous states throughout America had more people voting than lived in many of the counties.”
There is no evidence to support these claims. The widely circulated claim that there were more votes than people in Detroit is false. As we noted in our fact check: “The city of Detroit has 504,714 registered voters and reported that 250,138 people voted. That’s a turnout of 49.56 percent, according to unofficial results from the city of Detroit. Per the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 data, Detroit's population estimate is pegged at around 670,031.” The claim stems from the fact that “Wayne County, where Detroit is located, reported inconsistencies in which the number of votes didn’t match the number of voters listed in certain precincts.” However, as we explained, “These types of “out of balance” precincts are common during the canvassing process. Gregory Mahar, director of elections in Wayne County, told the Washington Post that this “type of error is common” and can usually be explained by “human error or computer malfunction.”
As noted by Lead Stories, which has more thoroughly investigated the claim that the 2010 census data was being used to cast fraudulent votes in the 2020 election, the claim lacks credible evidence: “Neither the article nor the video it describes provide credible witnesses, documents or other independent verification of the claim that census data about named individuals was obtained and used to cast votes for the dead and those who relocated, an extraordinary claim that would require equally extraordinary proof.”
In his interview with Frank, Lindell also mentions what he describes as suspicious “big spikes” in votes for Biden, that he says were incorrectly explained as coming from mail-in votes. Again, there is nothing suspicious about these “big spikes.” Lindell says that Michigan, for example, just “put in 100,000 votes for Biden.” Again, Lindell provides no evidence to suggest that 100,000 votes were suspiciously “put in” for Biden. The Dispatch Fact Check has previously addressed a false claim that Michigan suspiciously found 138,339 votes that all went to Biden. There was a data entry error in a graphic from Decision Desk HQ that temporarily made it seem like Biden had received a boost in ballots, when in reality he hadn't.
The full explanation follows: “Decision Desk HQ imported into their model a piece of county-level data that had one extra zero in the Biden column, giving Biden an apparent huge boost in his Michigan numbers. When the error was discovered, it was edited out, and Biden’s numbers dropped back into the correct place. As some Twitter users pointed out, this means that the side-by-side screenshots of the Decision Desk HQ data used to suggest that Biden had rocketed up while other candidates stayed in place are actually reversed. In the first screenshot Biden has 1,992,356 votes and in the second screenshot he has 2,130,695 votes, making it seem like there was a quick jump of 138,339 ballots in Biden’s favor. In reality, once Decision Desk HQ updated the Shiawassee County number, Biden’s numbers decreased 138,339 votes: 2,130,695 down to 1,992,356.”
Lindell’s third “expert,” described as a “confidential informant,” “claims to have found “multiple pieces of evidence” that prove there was “a well-orchestrated vote theft.” The anonymous “informant” claims that a poll worker had contacted him on January 3, 2021, and “conveyed” to him “that they were very uncomfortable with this phone that they had.” The phone, he said, was a “model 40440 flip phone,” which he described as “interesting” because “it is a 4G wifi hotspot.” The “informant” said that although the phone was manufactured by AT&T, it was “outsourced to Alcatel,” which he says falls under the “parent company” of TCL, a Chinese technology company. The “informant” then claims he made a device “to try to catch them in the act.” The allegation is not immediately clear, but it seems as though the ‘informant’ is claiming that the Chinese electronic company was tampering with voting machines in the U.S. through this flip phone with a “4G wifi hotspot.”
To prove Chinese election interference, the “informant” claims he built a device that can detect wifi by installing an analytics operating system “to try to capture wifi in the air.” He says the device he worked on is able to “record all wifi signals” in its vicinity. The informant claims that “TCL accessed over 150 elections servers in 14 different states, including multiple secretary of state networks.” There is no proof for these claims. The informant simply says the evidence is based on “my data I collected and other corroborated sources,” however, the source does not provide any of this “data.” Despite the lack of any evidence, the informant says he has “the absolute proof of interference by the fact that we have transmissions that go back to this Chinese-state owned company … we have the absolute proof of their incursion in 150 election servers in 14 different states.” The basis of this claim rests on the false allegation that voting machines, like Dominion, can connect to the internet. As noted, Dominion voting machines are not connected to the internet.
Lindell also interviews Thomas McInerney, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, who said that the November 3, 2020, presidential election was the “most massive cyberwarfare attack” on the “electoral system.” He then goes on to say that the COVID-19 pandemic was a “deliberate biological attack” by the “Chinese Communist Party,” which he says, was combined with a “cyberattack”. McInerney then mentions Hammer and Scorecard as an example of “evidence” for a cyberattack and a biological attack by the “Chinese Communist Party.”
Hammer and Scorecard, a supercomputer and accompanying software program that is said to tamper with election results by manipulating votes, is not evidence of Chinese interference in the 2020 election. The Dispatch Fact Check explained and debunked this theory in an earlier fact check.
We also previously noted: “The Hammer and Scorecard theory has been rejected by Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency [in the Trump administration], who, earlier this month, referred to Hammer and Scorecard as ‘nonsense’ and ‘not a real thing.’”
Lastly, in December of 2020, then-Attorney General William Barr has said that there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have altered the results of the 2020 presidential election.
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