A US army cyber attorney has expressed confusion at apparent plans among Trump allies to place him in a senior national security role, as part of a mooted move to impose martial law and reverse the president’s election defeat.
A day after his name and location appeared in notes carried into the White House by the My Pillow founder, Mike Lindell, Frank Colon told New York magazine he was “just a government employee who does work for the army” at Fort Meade, in Maryland.
Reporter Ben Jacobs added that Colon “seemed befuddled [over] why he would be floated to the president in any senior role and said that he never met Lindell”, although he said he had “seen him on TV”.
Ads for his sleep-aiding pillows made the mustachioed Lindell a familiar figure on American screens before he emerged as a leading Trump ally and booster.
Watch: Photographer snaps notes of MyPillow CEO after visiting Trump
The president was this week impeached a second time, for inciting supporters to attack the US Capitol on 6 January, leaving five people dead. Trump will leave office on Wednesday, when Joe Biden becomes the 46th president. Nonetheless, Trump still has not conceded defeat in an election he claims without evidence was stolen through mass voter fraud. Lindell has insisted Trump will begin a second term.
“I get called into a lot of projects for the Pentagon,” Colon told Jacobs, formerly of the Guardian, saying such projects included the Operation Warp Speed programme for coronavirus vaccine development and delivery.
He also said it “would be odd to reach that far down” in the Department of Defense for a role like national security adviser, but also said “people know me in the Pentagon” because not many people practise cyber law.
Jacobs reported that though Colon said he did not use Twitter, an account under the name Frank Colon Esq contained messages supportive of Trump and said of Biden: “If you need the military to protect you from the people during your fraudulent inauguration the people didn’t vote for you.”
Lindell did not respond to the pool reporter at the White House on Friday, when his notes were captured by a photographer from the Washington Post. He did not comment to New York magazine.
But on Friday the New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reported that Lindell had been “carrying the notes for an attorney he’s been working with to prove the election was really won by Trump, wouldn’t say who it was. Said some of it related to reports Trump is now unable to see because he doesn’t have Twitter.”
Twitter and other platforms banned Trump after the Capitol attack, in which a police officer who confronted rioters and a supporter of the president shot by law enforcement were among those who died. Multiple arrests have been made amid reports of further pro-Trump protests before the inauguration.
Watch: Donald Trump in profile
Haberman said Lindell’s White House meeting was “brief” and “contentious”.
“Lindell,” she wrote, “insists the papers he was holding, which were photographed and visible, didn’t reference ‘martial law’. An administration official says they definitely referenced martial law.
“But an administration official says Trump wasn’t really entertaining what Lindell was saying. Lindell also seemed frustrated he wasn’t getting more of a hearing.”
Haberman also reported that “among the items on Lindell’s list was replacing [national security adviser Robert] O’Brien”.