Convention circuit of delusion gives forum for election lies

Republicans Conspiracy Theories

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (AP) — For a few hours last weekend, thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters came together in a field under the blazing Wisconsin sun to live in an alternate reality where the former president was still in office — or would soon return.

Clad in red MAGA hats and holding “Trump 2021” signs, they cheered in approval as Mike Lindell, the MyPillow creator-turned-conspiracy peddler, introduced “our real president.” Then Trump appeared via Jumbotron to repeat the lie that has become his central talking point since losing to Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes: “The election was rigged.”

Lindell later promised the audience that Trump would soon be reinstated into the presidency, a prospect for which there is no legal or constitutional method.

In the nearly five months since Trump’s presidency ended, similar scenes have unfolded in hotel ballrooms and other venues across the country. Attorney Lin Wood has told crowds that Trump is still president, while former national security adviser Michael Flynn went even further at a Dallas event by calling for a Myanmar-style military coup in the U.S. At the same conference, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell suggested Trump could simply be reinstated and a new Inauguration Day set.

Taken together, the gatherings have gelled into a convention circuit of delusion centered on the false premise that the