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YouTube screenshot of Mike Lindell in a claw machine on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel stuffed MyPillow CEO and noted conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell into a claw machine on his show, a scene so utterly bizarre one can't help but accept truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Lindell has been the subject of considerable derision for taking a more active role in supporting and financing former Republican President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 general election result by spreading disproven conspiracy theories about widespread electoral fraud and faulty voting machines he says handed the election to Democratic President Joe Biden.

Kimmel quipped that to help Lindell "overcome his debilitating fear of machines, we have installed him inside a claw machine" while Lindell himself joked during a Facebook live stream earlier that day that Kimmel had allowed him on the show even though he isn't vaccinated against COVID-19.

But Kimmel clarified during his opening monologue that he "did not insist that Mike be in a claw machine because he’s not vaccinated," saying he did so "because it’s hilarious" and not in any way intended to be a political statement.

But the appearance definitely appeared to be a political statement for Lindell, who regurgitated more of his conspiracy theories and falsehoods about the integrity of the 2020 election.

You can watch what happened in the video below.

MyPillow Mike Lindell’s Interview from Inside a Claw Machine youtu.be

At one point during the interview, Kimmel asked Lindell why he had only received four Republican National Committee (RNC) votes despite campaigning over the last couple of months on the assurance that he would unseat longtime RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, whom Republicans ended up re-electing by an overwhelming margin.

Kimmel questioned whether Lindell believes the results of the RNC's election are also "rigged," referencing Lindell's attempts to cast doubt on the 2020 election results, to which Lindell replied that he didn’t believe that was the case because "there [were] no machines involved."

The exchange led to Kimmel asking if Lindell was saying that he "would have lost either way" before jokingly wondering whether Lindell's distrust of voting machines extends to "sewing machines" or "ice machines."

Lindell quickly rejected Kimmel's suggestion that his "barometer when it comes to voting is off," insisting that RNC representatives "didn't listen to the people of our country that wanted a change in the RNC leadership."

Lindell's stubborn refusal to accept the RNC election results prompted Kimmel to observe that "one of the differences between [Lindell] and the claw machine is claw machines let go" but Lindell countered that he loves the United States and believes it's his sworn duty to "save our country" by getting "rid of the computers" used in elections.

And on the subject of Trump's narrative that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud and abuse, Lindell shared that he has spent more than $40 million on the cause, an amount that includes his spending on Lindell TV, his streaming platform, and is $15 million more than the estimate Lindell gave during an interview with Insider in December 2021.

To say people were weirded out by the entire affair is an understatement.






But many were not pleased to see that Kimmel had given Lindell a platform on his program.





Lindell's bid for RNC leadership was always doomed to fail.

Political insiders—not to mention social media users—largely agreed his candidacy would only make matters worse for the RNC at a time when the GOP is largely split over allegiance to Trumpist politics and the party's disappoining midterm election performance, which failed to bring about the "red wave" Republican pollsters and legislators were counting on.

The bumbling Lindell made headlines in September after he complained that agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized his phone while he was in the drive-thru of a Hardee’s restaurant.

Lindell's phone was seized in connection with a 2021 breach of voting machines in Mesa County, Colorado, committed by former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is facing felony charges for alleged tampering after sensitive voter machine data she leaked was presented at Lindell's "Cyber Symposium."

Lindell had billed the "Symposium" as a legitimate arena in which he would unveil definitive proof that the 2020 election was stolen but he ultimately failed to produce any evidence of fraud.