Lincoln Project Co-Founder Tells 'My Truth,' Steps Down

Steve Schmidt resigns from the group's board amid John Weaver scandal, message postings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2021 8:30 AM CST
Lincoln Project Co-Founder Tells 'My Truth,' Steps Down
In this April 25, 2012, file photo, Steve Schmidt attends the world premiere of "Knife Fight" during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

The Lincoln Project, beset by a slew of scandals in recent weeks, has just taken a new hit. Axios reports that co-founder Steve Schmidt is resigning from the anti-Trump PAC's board as another co-founder, GOP operative John Weaver, faces accusations that he groomed and sexually solicited nearly two dozen young men. In a statement released Friday, Schmidt, 50, a political strategist who worked with the late Sen. John McCain, says he is now telling "my truth," noting he himself had been molested when he was 13, and that he's suffered from "anger, shame, and depression" ever since. He also details the timeline of his relationship with Weaver and re-ups his claim that he didn't know about the allegations against Weaver until January. "I detest John Weaver in a way I can't articulate," he says of his former colleague, noting he's "incandescently angry" about what's said to have transpired.

Axios and Politico detail other recent departures from the group, including spokesman Kurt Bardella; Nayyera Haq, who'd just joined to host a video series for the organization; and columnist Tom Nichols, who served as an unpaid adviser. Co-founder George Conway, husband of former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, left the group in August. Other controversies have also swirled around the group, including a Friday AP report that of the $90 million the group raised, more than $50 million went to firms that the group's leaders ran. Schmidt also took responsibility in his statement for earlier this week tweeting out screenshots of private messages between Lincoln Project co-founder Jennifer Horn, who also recently resigned, and a reporter working on a story about the group. The Times notes Schmidt will remain with the Lincoln Project in "an executive capacity." (Read more Lincoln Project stories.)

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