Newsmax anchor storms off set when MyPillow CEO voices election conspiracies
Posted February 3, 2021 12:30 p.m. EST
CNN — Newsmax anchor Bob Sellers repeatedly tried to cut off MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in an interview Tuesday after the Trump-supporting executive spread election fraud falsehoods on air. That's a particularly touchy topic for the conservative news channel, because it was named in a lawsuit claiming it spread misinformation about voting machines.
Lindell was invited on Newsmax to discuss "cancel culture." Twitter banned his personal account and the MyPillow account for repeatedly sharing election misinformation. But at the beginning of the interview, Lindell discussed the conspiracy theories that got him kicked off Twitter.
"We have all this election fraud with these Dominion machines," Lindell said. "We have 100% proof."
Sellers quickly interjected.
"Mike, you're talking about machines. We at Newsmax have not been able to verify any of those kinds of allegations," he said, before reading from a statement: "While there were some clear evidence of some cases of voter fraud and election irregularities, the election results in every state were certified, and Newsmax accepts the results as legal and final. The courts have also supported that view."
An executive at Dominion Voting Systems has previously sued Newsmax and others over false claims of voter fraud. Following the lawsuit, Newsmax ran an on-air news segment correcting the prior falsehoods it disseminated on its network.
Separately, Dominion has sent Lindell a letter warning that litigation is "imminent." Lindell told CNN he welcomes a lawsuit from Dominion and has "100 percent evidence."
While reading the statement, Lindell was shouting over Sellers, claiming that Newsmax was trying to do the same thing to him that Twitter did.
"You have just suppressed me, just like Twitter," Lindell said.
Sellers grew agitated as Lindell continued to talk over him.
"We wanted to talk about canceling culture, if you will," Sellers said, adding, "We don't want to relitigate the allegations that you're making, Mike."
Less than two minutes into the interview, Sellers asked the show's producers, "Can we get out of here, please? I don't want to have to keep going over this. We at Newsmax have not been able to verify any of those allegations."
When Sellers' co-anchor Heather Childers, a former "Fox & Friends" anchor, continued the conversation, Sellers promptly got up out of his anchor chair and walked off set.
Yet, later Tuesday, Newsmax brought Lindell back on the network for an interview with anchor Rob Schmitt.
Schmitt referred to Lindell as "our good friend" and gave Lindell another opportunity to discuss his Twitter ban.
"Obviously you were on the network earlier in the day. We made some waves there. We'll leave it at that," he said, adding, "You and Newsmax have always had a very good relationship."
Lindell spoke about impeachment, but he did not discuss voter fraud in his second interview on Newsmax on Tuesday. The interview also touched on the ban of Lindell's personal and professional Twitter accounts, and Schmitt talked about businesses that no longer sell MyPillow pillows.
There is no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and the Trump administration and election officials have called the 2020 presidential election the "most secure" election in US history. President Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes and he won the electoral map 306 to 232.
Newsmax was just one of the defendants in the Dominion lawsuit. The list also included the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani, Trump adviser Sidney Powell, conservative media outlet One America News Network, the right-wing website Gateway Pundit, and Colorado businessman and activist Joseph Oltmann, among others.
-- CNN's Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report