Hard-right political operative Steve Bannon declared Monday that former President Donald Trump won re-election “in a landslide.” Appearing on Brannon Howse’s Worldview Weekend network show, Bannon and the host talked about the election, My Pillow’s Mike Lindell’s three-day “cyber symposium,” and what they described as a larger political and spiritual conflict between the Judeo-Christian West and the spread of “Babylonian paganism.”
Howse broadcast his show this week from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he was attending the symposium that was supposed to unveil what Lindell has been claiming for months would be “100 percent” proof that the Chinese government stole the 2020 presidential election by hacking voting machines and flipping votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
Bannon told Howse that if Lindell did prove his thesis this week, there would be a “process” to overturn the 2020 election by working with “attorney generals in states that have this law from the 19th century,” claiming that “they’re gonna get standing and take it to the Supreme Court.” Lindell has repeatedly claimed that his “evidence” was so overwhelming that the court would vote 9-0 to reinstate Trump. Bannon said that if China had hacked voting machines to flip the election, that would constitute an “act of war,” a term he also applied to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Lindell followed Bannon on Howse’s Monday broadcast, where he urged listeners to spread the word on social media and help him build his hoped-for audience of 1 billion people, which he said was necessary to overcome the media’s efforts to “destroy” the truth with an alternative narrative. He said he had spent a million dollars to advertise the symposium and that one group of his supporters was praying that 7 billion people would watch. Lindell sounded confident that his evidence would land a lot of people in jail, saying that the corrupted voting machines needed to be melted down and turned into prison bars.
But Bannon seemed to suspect that Lindell wasn’t going to be able to deliver the goods, telling Howse that Lindell had not yet proven his claims. Bannon promoted a different route to overturning the election. “I know that Trump won, and Trump won in a landslide,” Bannon declared, claiming that “America First audit teams” he is supporting can prove that Trump won.
In reality, Lindell’s much-ballyhooed symposium turned out to be a three-day joke at which Lindell ranted at length and spent time on stage criticizing specific journalists who pointed out the painfully obvious truth that he was offering nothing to back up his extravagant claims.
On the second day of the conference, one of Lindell’s own cyber experts torpedoed the entire premise of the event by telling the right-wing Washington Times that the supposedly irrefutable “packet data” Lindell has been claiming he would share at the symposium was nowhere in sight. Some journalists speculated that Lindell had fallen for a giant con perpetrated by Dennis L. Montgomery, the alleged provider of the suspect data, who “reportedly suffered a stroke on the eve of the symposium and has not been in contact with Mr. Lindell’s team or any cyber experts at the symposium,” according to the Washington Times. That same day, Bannon groused that Lindell had failed to “bring the receipts.”
During his Monday appearance on Worldview Weekend, Bannon promoted his own “War Room” show, bragging that Trump and other Republican officials act on issues he has raised, and portraying his operations as part of a spiritual war:
“We’ll either be the constitutional republic that was bequeathed to us and we’ve made better and passed on, or we’re going to be something totally different. Obviously, God’s in charge, right? What is most providential about having the election stolen was that they’ve flipped over all their cards. …
“This is all about a defense of the Judeo-Christian West. … I consider America the new Jerusalem … predicated upon the tenets of the Judeo-Christian West… It’s becoming more and more evident that this is a spiritual war. And there’s kind of no middle ground.”
Bannon’s show and Howse’s Worldview Weekend Network are among the right-wing media outlets benefitting from Lindell’s support. Howse said his radio show was being simulcast on 58 Christian radio stations through VCY America and carried on Lindell’s platform, FrankSpeech.com.
Bannon may have tried to create a bit of distance between himself and Lindell’s claims, but he is willing to promote other conspiracy theories. The Bannon-affiliated Populist Press news aggregator gave top billing over the weekend to an article with the hyperventilating headline, “Sidney Powell Exposes Top Figures’ Role in Jan 6 FALSE FLAG!”
The Populist Press blurb linked to video of a Howse interview with “Stop the Steal” lawyer Sidney “Kraken” Powell, who suggested that the FBI had “a substantial if not leading role in creating the whole debacle.”
Powell said she didn’t know of any legitimate authority under which the Capitol was closed on Jan. 6, when members of Congress met to affirm the Electoral College victory of President Joe Biden. She said she had urged people to stay away from Washington on Jan. 6 because she felt it was going to be “a setup.”
“I think that’s what it was,” she continued. “I want to know exactly how many FBI agents were involved in storming the Capitol that day, particularly involved in the group that broke any windows or did any damage at all. All of that needs to be disclosed.” Powell claimed that the country has never seen anything like the “massive operation to hunt down the people that went to the Capitol that day.”
Powell, like Lindell, is the subject of a massive defamation lawsuit by the Dominion voting technology company over their promotion of claims that the machines were designed with stolen elections in mind. On Wednesday, the second day of Lindell’s symposium, a federal judge rejected efforts by Powell, Lindell, and former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to get Dominion’s lawsuits tossed out.