On Tuesday, the FBI served MyPillow Man Mike Lindell with a search warrant and seized his cellphone at a Hardee’s in Minnesota. That move came as the FBI investigates Tina Peters, the Mesa, Colorado, county clerk under indictment for tampering with voting machines after the 2020 election. Lindell is a prominent election denier who has poured money into trying to overturn Donald Trump’s big loss.
The MyPillow guy being arrested at a Hardee’s is a fun enough story, but then Millie Weaver, aka Millennial Millie, went and made it better. Weaver is a former Infowars correspondent and minor-league far-right influencer whose Millennial Millie show has recently been airing on “Lindell TV,” and you cannot make me take the scare quotes off those things. Weaver was feeling a little dramatic about the seizure of Lindell’s cellphone, so she reached for the often-quoted words of German pastor Martin Niemöller, written in 1946 about the rise of the Nazis.
Yes, she is comparing cases of people being subpoenaed and searched for evidence of crimes to the Holocaust. She’s doing that. People receiving due process and their day in court are, to Weaver, akin to people being transported to Nazi death camps and concentration camps. The far-right’s victim complex knows no bounds whatsoever.
It would be understandable to read this and think it was a parody. I’m pretty sure there have been parody tweets along these exact lines about earlier cases of far-right figures being served with subpoenas or investigated for lawbreaking. But friends, this is no parody. Not unless it’s an extremely long con, dating back at least to late 2015. Because that’s how long Weaver has been building her Trump babe (more on that in a bit) influencer persona.
Early on in her time on Instagram, in 2011 and 2012, Weaver was just another young woman posting duck-lipped thirst traps and pictures with friends. Sometimes she wasn’t even wearing makeup. The pictures from this time have almost no comments, and what comments there are are much more recent, from fans who’ve gone back through her feed. “No wonder you have a couple kids bet your husband can't keep his hands off you he's a lucky man,” a 2020 comment on a 2012 picture of Weaver in a bikini reads.
A little more recently, it’s baby pictures. Sprinkled throughout are occasional pictures of animals and organic foods. Then, in January 2016: a “Millennial Millie game face” selfie, followed directly by two brief videos about why she’s not a feminist.
“There’s nothing feminine about being a feminist nowadays. They pretty much throw out everything it is to be a feminine woman as a whole. Can’t be a mom, can’t be pretty, can’t be hot, can’t be sexy, can’t have a husband.”
May 2016: A posed studio shot in front of an array of Infowars supplements with the comment, “This is Millie. Millie uses Infowars Life products and is very healthy. Millie is not a mindless trendy. Millie is Smart. Be like Millie. #Infowars #Infowarsgear”
July 2016: A selfie in a MAGA hat, with the comment, “Make America Great Again! Trump 2016! If you don't like it...Kiss My Ass! #trump #trumpbabes.” (That #trumpbabes hashtag is a whole world of silicone and Trump bikinis and “Let’s Go Brandon” shirts cropped high enough to show ample underboob.)
From there, Weaver’s identity as an Infowars/Trump wannabe influencer mostly takes over her feed. In front of a “Hillary for Prison” sign. Shooting a gun, apparently off the back porch of a home. Promoting her YouTube channel for the first time in August 2016. Pictures with right-wing luminaries like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Nigel Farage, Rudy Giuliani, James O’Keefe, Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, next to Roger Stone and Alex Jones at an event, and more. Pictures of two White House visits.
By now, Weaver has 452,000 YouTube subscribers. In that first Instagram promotion of her YouTube channel, she had just over 3,500 subscribers. The oldest video on her channel is an entry for an Infowars "Make fun of Hillary" contest. A few months later, she’s putting a wig and makeup on her brother and sending him into a Target to ask people if they’d be comfortable with him using the women’s restroom with their daughters. For a while, she’s all over the map of Infowars-type obsessions: “SJW’s Ban St. Patrick’s Day.” “Is Wind Energy Actually Clean?” “EXCLUSIVE: Inside The Secret Pedophile Marketplace.” “Consensus: CNN is Fake News.” “Unsolved Mysteries of Liberal Logic.”
Weaver was fired from Infowars in 2020 after she was arrested for robbing her mother (the charges were dropped). But by the time of her arrest, Weaver was already working on Shadow Gate, a “documentary” claiming to have whistleblowers telling how secret contractors “hired by government officials to frame the Trump campaign, set him up for the Russia collusion investigation, provided witnesses for the impeachment hearings and provided administrative support services to the Department of Justice during the Mueller investigation.” On election night 2020, Weaver's livestream had 300,000 viewers as she spread disinformation, claiming a video of a TV cameraman with his equipment was footage of ballot-stuffing in Detroit, and saying to a guest, “It looks like the election is being stolen.” The top video on her channel, the one that autoplays when you visit, is titled “Election Night Coup D’etat Plot Exposed!”
She has built a career, of sorts, around this persona. Pretty, hot, sexy, mom … for Trump, turned hard-hitting “reporter,” where what’s reported is largely conspiracy theory and trolling. Weaver isn’t alone in this. You've heard of Alex Jones and James O’Keefe and Dinesh D’Souza and Diamond and Silk and Candace Owens, but there’s this whole far-right ecosystem of highly specific influencers. Ones who gain their right-wing currency by deploying their Blackness to help insulate Trump and Republicans from charges of racism. Ones who deploy their exaggerated femininity for culture wars leverage and for sheer pervy page views. But they’re tied together by their willingness to embrace conspiracy theories and undermine democracy.
And when they compare Mike Lindell having his cellphone seized in a Hardee’s to the Holocaust, they are not kidding.