‘All my friends are going, What’s this crack addict doing next to the president?’
When you’re known as the “MyPillow guy,” its easy for your critics to dismiss you as a pollyanna pitchman who doesn’t really believe what he’s saying.
Donald Trump gets the same criticism, and Mike Lindell doesn’t mind comparisons to the 45th president.
It’s just that since he’s gotten to know Trump, it’s clear that such criticism is “100% false.”
Lindell, promoting his memoir “What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO,” told WND in an interview that he “knows Trump’s heart” and has spoken with people who work for him at the White House.
“He really cares about the people and about the country,” Lindell said. “He had better things to do. He’s a billionaire.”
Lindell recalls meeting Trump for the first time on Aug. 15, 2016, at the Trump Tower in New York City during the election campaign.
The entrepreneur, knowing nothing about politics, said he went into the half-hour private meeting “to see who is this, what is motivating him to run.”
“I left there saying, ‘Wow, he’s going to be the most common-sense president in history, because it was all about solutions, like I do every day in business,” Lindell said.
Lindell said he believes God has gifted Trump with the ability to absorb information from many sources and come up with a solution.
“You don’t need to like what he says or how he does it. But he’s getting it done in ways nobody else ever could have gotten it done.”
After his Trump Tower meeting, Lindell took time to talk to Trump’s employees.
“I was amazed at how many minorities and women he employed.”
Every one said something similar: They had been with Trump a long time, had a personal story of Trump helping them out and said he was the best boss they ever had.
Lindell has been to the White House a number of times – notably when Trump gave him the opportunity to speak in a Rose Garden news conference – and the White House employees say the same about their boss.
Lindell recalls asking a Secret Service agent what it’s like to work there.
“Every time he sees me,” the agent said of Trump, “he’ll stop and ask, how is your day going? He does that with everyone.”
Lindell said he “backs this president because I know stuff other people don’t.”
“I know where his heart is. He has no other agenda other than to help.”
‘Jesus is real’
The title of his book conveys his belief that countless events in his life defy the odds mathematically and can only be explained by a divine hand.
Take his moment in the White House Rose Garden on March 30, for example, when in front of slack-jawed media and a live global audience, he declared that God had set apart Donald Trump for this time in history, and the only answer to the world’s problems is faith in Jesus Christ.
“All my friends are going, ‘What’s this crack addict doing next to the president?”
‘They’re saying, ‘Jesus is real, because it’s impossible for that to happen.'”
Along with praise for his remarks came a barrage of criticism from the left.
A CNN executive editor commented sarcastically on a retweet of a video of Lindell’s remarks: “In case you were wondering what My Pillow is doing in a time of coronavirus.” It turned out he had just completed the conversion of a 200,000-square-foot factory to produce millions of masks for health-care workers.
“I’ve just given it to God,” he said of the criticism.
Lindell said his critics aren’t going to change his Christian beliefs, and “shaming me for my past doesn’t work.”
“They come from a place of wounds, too,” he said. “They’re looking for hope, too, and until they find Jesus they are lost.”
When media figures criticize him, he said, “I just send them pillows.”
Among the recipients of his patented plush support foam product, he said, are Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert.
“It’s hard for them to shame me,” he said. “I’ve already said I’m a crack addict. It’s pretty hard for them to badmouth somebody who is using his story to help other people.”
Lindell said some of the empathy for his critics comes from growing up a “shy kid striving for attention,” suffering from shame and self-loathing.
Lindell said he intially was reluctant to talk about the God factor in his story.
Of all people, it was the legendary “shock jock” Don Imus who said, “You’ve got a calling on your life, and you don’t need to be ashamed to talk about Jesus.”
But that wasn’t Imus’ frame of thinking the first time he interviewed Lindell.
“He was the one who asked me where I got the idea for My Pillow, and I said from God,” Lindell said.
“Now don’t get all crazy on me!” Imus replied, according to Lindell.
But Lindell described it as a specific revelation, like a “download,” and it was the same with the “plan” he said he was given for getting off crack.
Over the course of their friendship, Lindell said, Imus changed.
They bonded initially over sharing a struggle with cocaine addiction and overcoming it.
When Trump gave a shoutout to Lindell at a rally in North Dakota in 2018 – “Have you seen this guy with the pillows on Fox?” – Imus texted Lindell.
Imus wrote, according to Lindell, “I knew you were the real deal.”
“He was proud of me. That was like a father to me.”
‘This has to be God’
Lindell said that while he sees the hand of God all through his life, he didn’t “fully surrender” his life to Jesus until February 2017.
Before then, nevertheless, he knew the “mini miracles” in his life were from God.
Lindell recalls when he began pulling together the stories of his life – the book took seven years to write – and it became clear “this has to be God, because it’s impossible otherwise.”
He said there were many episodes he had to leave out because they would have sounded so fantastic to the reader they would have discredited the book.
“My friends would say, ‘Put that in.’ I’d say, ‘People would not believe it. They’d say the guy is nuts.'”
Proceeds of the self-published book go to his Lindell Recovery Network, which helps free people from addictions.
He said his friends also thought him nuts for printing an initial run of 3 million copies.
“They said, ‘You’re going to sell 3 million?'”
“I said, ‘No, I’m going to sell 30 million.'”