On 7 November 2020, after several days of vote-counting, Donald Trump lost the US presidential election. More than 60 unsuccessful lawsuits and one insurrection later, Trump has still lost the election, but the former president refuses to accept defeat.

Egged on by a group of sycophants and fantasists, including a small-time Pennsylvania politician, a host on a far-right news network, and the CEO of a pillow company, Trump now plans to hold rallies at the end of June where he is likely to continue his fraudulent claims of a stolen election.

Despite the election having been repeatedly investigated and declared “the most secure in American history” by a group of experts, the former president is said to be convinced the election result will be overturned. As are those in his close circle fighting a series of quixotic battles on his behalf.

Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and a Trump confidant who claims to have evidence that shows voting machines were hacked by China, told the Guardian Trump would be returned to office by August or – at the latest – September.

“With me they just keep saying: ‘It’s a conspiracy, Mike Lindell – he’s crazy, blah blah blah,’ all this stuff,” Lindell said. “But I think it gives the whole country hope because they know me and they know I wouldn’t be out there if I wasn’t 100%.”

Lindell, who is being sued for $1.3bn by the voting machine manufacturer Dominion over his repeatedly stated conspiracy theory that the company distorted the results of the election, might not be giving the whole country hope, but Trump and the 53% of Republicans who believe he won the election are certainly receiving a boost.