When MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell held his three-day “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in August 2021, three of the far-right MAGA Republicans who attended were lawmakers from Washington State — and according to Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner, they did so at the expense of Washington taxpayers.
Lindell, a far-right conspiracy theorist, has been falsely claiming, with zero evidence, that former President Donald Trump was the real winner of the 2020 election — and he claimed that his “Cyber Symposium” would offer “irrefutable” proof that the election was stolen from Trump. But the claims of widespread voter fraud that Lindell made at his event were aggressively debunked by elections experts. The “Cyber Symposium” was a joke, offering no proof that now-President Joe Biden didn’t defeat Trump by more than 7 million votes in 2020.
Brunner reports, “On hand at the symposium in Sioux Falls were dozens of state legislators from around the country, who have parroted Trump and Lindell’s false fraud narrative, demanding audits of the long-settled election. Among them were three Republicans from Washington, whose trips to the Lindell event were paid for with taxpayer dollars. Public records released to the Seattle Times last week show State Reps. Robert Sutherland, R-Granite Falls, Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, and Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, requested and received expense reimbursements from the Legislature for the symposium.”
According to Brunner, taxpayers in Washington State paid a total of $4,361 for their flights to Sioux Falls and their hotel costs.
Brunner notes that Sutherland, Kraft and Klippert “have stoked doubts about the 2020 election, claiming widespread fraud and irregularities around the nation and in Washington — even as they touted their own reelection wins last fall.”
Austin Evers, director of American Oversight, resents the fact that taxpayers in Washington State paid for Sutherland, Kraft and Klippert to attend Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium.”
Brunner quotes Evers as saying, “The Mike Lindell symposium was, on its face, a conspiracy theory designed to undermine faith in American democracy. It should not have been funded in any way by taxpayer dollars, and no one in public office should have been attending it.”