President Trump, who was in isolation watching the clock count down to his time at the White House, spent part of it on Friday with the C.E.O. from MyPillow, Mike Lindell, who brought some notes.
In photos taken by Jabin Botsford, a Washington Post photographer, Mr. Lindell was holding notes as he stood outside the door to the lobby of the west wing before meeting the President on Friday afternoon. The notes included a mention of Sidney Powell, the lawyer and conspiracy theorist that Mr. Trump once wanted to offer in the White House.
They were only partially visible, but there was also a proposal to invoke the Insurrectionary Law, which allows a president to send active military forces into the streets, and “Martial Law, if necessary”. One line seemed to suggest that Kash Patel, currently Chief of Defense and Trump loyalist, as “C.I.A. Acting, ”which seemed to indicate the top job.
White House press officers were surprised by the photos when they were shared on Twitter, saying they had no idea what happened. Mr. Lindell did not respond to a message asking for comment.
Mr Lindell was one of the few supporters of Mr Trump from the American company who stayed with him after the January 6 uprising of Trump supporters at the Capitol Complex that killed five people and chanted the death of Vice President Mike Pence. Mr. Lindell appeared on Newsmax, the conservative cable network, on the day of the uprising, pushing for the now debunked claim that “Antifa” protesters disguised themselves as Trump supporters in order to cause harm.
And even after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory was confirmed, Mr. Lindell continued to insist that Mr. Trump be inaugurated for a second term next week.
There was no way to fire Gina Haspel, the director of the C.I.A., on Friday or to fire Mr. Patel at the C.I.A. Take over headquarters, according to people familiar with the matter. And Washington has already become a militarized stronghold even before Mr Biden’s inauguration, to contain the threat of new violence slated for the day of the ceremony.
But Mr. Lindell’s ability to go into the Oval Office and meet with Mr. Trump underscored the kind of conspiracy theorists who still appeal to Mr. Trump as long as they say what he wants to hear. It is unclear whether Mr. Lindell wrote the notes or whether he passed on someone else’s thoughts.
Mr Trump has at times viewed Ms. Powell as too conspiratorial as she touted falsehoods about a global conspiracy to rig the 2020 election. At other times he has welcomed their contribution.
Right-wing journalists have resumed calls for the clearance and publication of documents related to the 2016 election, including material prepared by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, on which Mr Patel previously worked.
Ms. Haspel has spoken out against the publication of these documents. However, both Mr. Trump and John Ratcliffe, the director of the national intelligence service, have authority to release the documents and the White House would not have to force Ms. Haspel to make the material public.