Young men accuse Lincoln Project co-founder of harassment
The influential anti-Donald Trump group Lincoln Project denounces one of its co-founders after several reports that he sexually harassed young men seeking to enter politics for several years.
The Lincoln Project, in a statement on Sunday, called co-founder John Weaver, 61, a “predator, liar and abuser” following reports that he repeatedly sent unsolicited and sexually transmitted messages. charged online to young men, often suggesting it might help them find work in politics.
“The totality of its disappointments is beyond anything any of us could have imagined and we are absolutely shocked and sickened by it,” the Lincoln Project, the most prominent Republican “Never Trump” super PAC to emerge during the 45th time of the president in the White. House, said in his statement.
The online magazine The American Conservative first reported the allegations of sexual harassment earlier this month.
Days later, Weaver, a strategist who advised the late Republican Senator John McCain and former Ohio Governor John Kasich in their unsuccessful White House candidacies, admitted in a statement to the Axios website that he had sent “inappropriate” messages which he “considered to be consensual and mutual conversations at the time”.
Weaver’s statement came after several men took to social media to accuse him of sending sexually suggestive messages, sometimes associated with offers of employment or political advancement.
The Lincoln Project made its most substantive comments on the growing allegations against Weaver after The New York Times reported on Sunday that the newspaper interviewed 21 men who said they were harassed by Weaver.
One of the alleged victims told The Times he started receiving messages from Weaver when he was just 14 years old. The messages got sharper after she turned 18.
Other founders of the Lincoln Project included 2012 presidential adviser to Mitt Romney, Stuart Stevens, former McCain and George W. Bush strategist Steve Schmidt, and GOP ad creator Rick Wilson.
The group throughout the 2020 election cycle produced some of the most eviscerating flanks against Trump, questioning the morality and leadership of the president and his aides.
The Lincoln Project said in its statement that “at no time was John Weaver in the physical presence of a member” of the super PAC.
Weaver took medical leave from the Lincoln Project last summer. He told Axios earlier this month that he has no plans to return to the group.
Weaver did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.