ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

FBI seizure of Lindell's phone has Mankato Hardee’s location in national spotlight

Lindell, who became an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election, has said he was forced to hand his phone to FBI agents who surrounded him at a Mankato Hardee's drive-thru on Tuesday.

US-NEWS-LINDELL-DOMINION-SMARTMATIC-LAWSUIT-GET
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell speaks at a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump at the I-80 Speedway on May 1, 2022, in Greenwood, Nebraska. News that Lindell had his cell phone seized at a Hardee's in Mankato, Minnesota, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, brought national attention to the local fast-food restaurant.
Scott Olson / TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

MANKATO — The FBI's execution of a search warrant on MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell at a Mankato fast-food drive-thru brought a wave of attention to the Mankato Hardee's.

Lindell, who became an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election, has said he was forced to hand his phone to FBI agents who surrounded him at a Mankato Hardee's drive-thru on Tuesday.

The execution of a warrant was part of an FBI investigation centered on a Colorado official accused of allowing an unauthorized person to break into the county's election system to search for evidence that would validate Trump's election conspiracy theories.

Lindell, born in Mankato and raised in Chaska, said he was returning from a hunting trip in Iowa when the incident happened.

Reports say that the incident happened at the Hardee's on Highway 169 north. Adam Mahowald, manager of the Madison Avenue Hardee's, said he isn't sure the incident happened at all.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I was here all of (Tuesday) and my girlfriend works at the (Hardee's off Highway 169 north), and neither of us saw any FBI raid," he said.

But an FBI spokesperson, who was contacted by several national media outlets, confirmed agents were "at that location executing a search warrant authorized by a federal judge" but would not give other details.

Mahowald was spending Wednesday in the glare of the spotlight. "I've had reporters and camera crews up here. We got a whole lot of attention," he said, noting that relatives have called from as far away as New York about the incident.

Twitter and other social media were filled with comments about the Hardee's incident.

"I visited both Hardees in Mankato today. Still have my phone, but now need a nap. Where's my pillow?" wrote A.J. Lagoe on Twitter.

"Do not — I repeat: DO NOT EVER — carry your cell phone to a Hardee's in Mankato!," quipped Leigh Pomeroy.

"In my city, we crash cars into the Walmart, we accidentally spill truck loads of live pigs onto the highway, and we get the My Pillow Guy being raided by the FBI at Hardee's. I truly love my weird little goober town," tweeted Kat Baumann.

Hardee's also capitalized on the publicity, sending this tweet out on Wednesday:

ADVERTISEMENT

"You should really try our pillowy biscuits."

Staff Writer Robb Murray contributed to this article.

(c)2022 The Free Press (Mankato, Minn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

What to read next
As residents accuse the county of moving property line markers while surveying land for its online GIS database, Polk County officials say residents who have misunderstood property descriptions for years are to blame.
Gay and bisexual men had once been barred from donating blood due to HIV concerns. After easing the restrictions over time, the FDA may significantly ease the restrictions once again to expand the donor-eligible population.
Without comment but on a unanimous vote, Prinsburg City Council members in a special meeting Friday, Dec. 2, denied a proposed ordinance that would have allowed residents to bring civil lawsuits against abortion providers.
Under a plan approved by a key panel of the Democratic National Committee Friday, Dec. 2, South Carolina will hold the first primary on Feb. 3. Of the states vying for the early primary spots, Michigan, another diverse Upper Midwest state, was seen as Minnesota’s strongest competitor. Michigan's primary will be on Feb. 27,