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Newsmax anchor walks off camera during MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell appearance

Election law expert David Becker on "The Takeout"
CBS News election law expert David Becker on "The Takeout" — 1/8/2021 45:34

A Newsmax anchor walked off a show after MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell brought up election conspiracy theories during an interview on the conservative cable channel Tuesday.

During "American Agenda," Lindell was asked about Twitter's decision to ban him and his company's account from the platform after he peddled misinformation about the 2020 presidential election, which he claims was stolen from former President Donald Trump. 

Instead, Lindell ripped Dominion Voting Systems, the company at the center of baseless conspiracy theories spouted by Mr. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and conservative lawyer Sidney Powell. The company filed lawsuits against both of them – and threatened one against Newsmax. As Lindell began to discuss, co-anchor Bob Sellers repeatedly interrupted him. 

"We at Newsmax have not been able to verify any of those kinds of allegations," he said. "We just want to let people know that there's nothing substantive that we have seen. And let me read you something."

The men continued to speak over each other, but Sellers looked down and read a statement. 

"The election results in every state were certified," he said."Newsmax accepts the results as legal and final. The courts have also supported that view."

Lindell continued to argue, prompting Sellers to ask producers to end the interview. 

"I don't want to continue going over this," Sellers said, before repeating the disclaimer and getting out of his chair from a remote set. 

In response to the incident, Brian Peterson, a spokesperson for the company, said in a statement to CBS News, "Newsmax and its anchor only wanted to make clear that it has found no evidence of software manipulation involving the election."  

"However, Mr. Lindell is entitled to his own opinion and has a different viewpoint than ours," the statement said.  

CBS News reached out to MyPillow for a comment, but did not immediately hear back. 

The episode that played on-air represents the shift in Newsmax's handling of conspiracies related to the 2020 election. In the weeks after President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory, unverified claims of widespread voter fraud were routinely discussed on the channel. However, Dominion and Smartmatic, another voting machine manufacturer targeted by Mr. Trump and his allies, demanded retractions from Newsmax and other conservative outlets in December.  

Lindell is an avid supporter of Mr. Trump. In an interview with CBS News last month, Lindell said he would "welcome" a threatened lawsuit from Dominion. 

CBS Minnesota reported that Lindell said Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl's are among some retailers that will stop selling his products due to his continued stance on the election.

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