Pillow salesman and election denier Mike Lindell was roaming the halls of the White House asserting that then-President Donald Trump would be able to remain in office just days before the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Former aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson, who later became a top witness for the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, writes in her new memoir Enough that she encountered the MyPillow CEO at the White House on 15 January 2021 – nine days after the insurrection.
“We can still win,” Mr Lindell said as he walked around the building unescorted.
Worried about the “deep state,” the Trump White House was obsessed with secrecy, but still was relatively uncontrolled, allowing Mr Lindell to explore the compound.
Loyalty to Mr Trump was so important in his White House that staffers set up “leak traps” to find out who was giving information to the press, the book states.
The administration was overwhelmed with paranoia, with Mr Meadows refusing to use the burn bags to dispose of trash, worrying that a deep state operative might get ahold of documents.
He instead would burn files in his fireplace to such an extent that his wife would complain about the expense of dry cleaning his suits to get rid of the “bonfire” smell, Ms Huthcinson writes.
Mr Meadows once asked Ms Hutchinson if she would “take a bullet” for Mr Trump. She nervously quipped that she maybe could take one in the thigh, according to The New York Times.
Ms Hutchinson also spotted Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, who was being investigated by federal authorities for sex trafficking at the time, appear at the White House to speak to Mr Meadows about a pardon.
The Department of Justice chose not to proceed with their investigation into Mr Gaetz, ending it earlier this year, as they concluded they would be unable to make a strong case in court, according to the newspaper.
Mr Meadows asked Ms Hutchinson to join him in the White House when he took over as chief of staff in March 2020.
“You’re going to be my eyes and ears. I want you with me all the time,” he said, according to Ms Hutchinson.