Steve Schmidt, one of the founders of the Lincoln Project and a well-known national political operative, is the latest to resign from the disgraced organization that toppled Donald Trump.
Schmidt is known in Alaska circles because he was the key strategic adviser on the McCain for President campaign in 2008, and it was he who chose Alaska former Gov. Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate.
Schmidt is now a registered Democrat. One of his main partners in the Lincoln Project, John Weaver, was also an adviser on the McCain campaign, and this is where the plot thickens.
Schmidt and Weaver are the latest in a number of resignations from the Lincoln Project, which took credit for the defeat of Trump in 2020. They are both the original co-founders of the savage organization, which masqueraded as a Republican “never Trump” effort.
The scandal became known within the organization last June, but was covered up during the campaign season. Over recent weeks, the drumbeat against Weaver got louder as he was accused of sexually harassing more than a few young men. The allegations against Weaver are from at least 21 men, who said that Weaver sent them sexually suggestive messages. Some of the men said they were offered professional help by Weaver in exchange for sex. Additionally, questions are being raised about how the group spent its money in 2020.
Weaver has since said that he is gay, evidently excusing himself from harassing and enticing numerous young men, some of whom were his employees.
Schmidt and Weaver’s ties to Alaska didn’t end in 2008 with the spectacular defeat of Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin.
In 2020, their Lincoln Project spent millions of dollars to get Al Gross elected and Sen. Dan Sullivan defeated.
The Lincoln Project spent a known total of $4.277 million in that effort. In the end, Gross only received 43 percent of the vote.
Schmidt has made a living pushing false narratives about his political enemies, especially Trump, but now he has posted something on Twitter that he says is his “truth.”
“It was just a touch – a light one – and it lasted for only a moment. I was a 13-year-old boy at the Rock Hill Boy Scout Camp. His name was Ray, and he was the camp medic. The older scouts called him ‘Gay Ray,” and taunted and teased us about our inevitable encounter with him when the itch of the mosquito bites became too much to bear. It happened almost precisely like the older kids said it would. Covered in bites, I went to the Medical Cabin. He told me to take my clothes off. I complied. He looked at my body and examined the bites, just like they said he would. He began applying an ointment just like they said he would. I remember being paralyzed as his hands moved up my body and brushed over my penis. I remember all of this with perfect clarity up to the moment I was touched. The next part is fuzzier. I just know that I left. Then, I came back to camp, and I must have had a look on my face because I remember the laughing. The look on my face must have looked familiar to the other boys because it was the same one they must have had when they returned from Ray’s exam. Camp continued, and I made sure never to return to the Medical Cabin.
“When I got home, I told my parents. The adults huddled, and the collective decision they made was to deal with it internally. He wasn’t turned into the police because the consensus of the adults was that dealing with law enforcement would be traumatic for all of the boys involved. In the end, we were told that Ray wouldn’t return. I don’t know what happened to him, and even when the day came that I had the power, money and ability to find out and do something to him, or about him, I chose not to.
“Something else happened in that cabin that day. The extroverted little boy who walked in died; an introverted boy with deep trust issues walked out. Before that day, I have no memory of ever feeling anger. After that day – and despite the passage of so many years – the anger has never left. It’s always there; below the surface. It has risen up many times over the years.
“Later in life, that anger would immolate my faith in the Catholic Church. My faith had been diminished to a ﬂicker of ﬂame by the time I served in the White House. I remember feeling like something that had anchored me was stolen. I felt lost in a strange way, though at the time, I would never have described myself as particularly religious. I reached out to see if I could get an audience with the man who had presided over my Conﬁrmation at St. Luke’s Church in North Plainﬁeld, New Jersey. By this point, he was a Monsignor and the acting Auxiliary Bishop of the Metuchen Diocese. when I met with him in Washington, he was his Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. Learning that the man I trusted to share my soul and the deepest memories of my violation was amongst the most prolific of the Catholic Church’s sex criminals permanently shattered my faith and left me estranged from God. It has taken nearly 16 years since that betrayal to ﬁnd faith again, which I have during the process of my conversion to Judaism.
“A touch on a table at age 13 that lasted seconds has been a defining event in my life. It never went away. That moment bequeathed me the three companions of my life that are always close and often present: anger, shame and depression.…” his statement reads in part.
“I wish John Weaver was not a cofounder of the Lincoln Project, but as hard as I wish for that to be, I can’t change that he was. I am enormously proud of the Lincoln Project and what we have accomplished to-date. I believe we built the most successful and politically lethal SuperPAC in history. We built a movement with millions of people, and we played a decisive role in Donald Trump’s defeat.
“During these last weeks, I have been consumed by anger and rage as I have seen the attacks from the rancid collection of liars, thugs and fascists, including Donald Trump Jr. and Laura Ingraham, attack the Lincoln Project, my character and the character of my friends over John Weaver’s amoral predations.
“I am in a tough business, and I know what I signed up for. I am long past the moments of fear that gripped me when FBI agents showed up at my house to tell me I was on the hit list of the Trump bomber. The truth is that these attacks awakened all of my old companions at once – shame, anger and depression. For those around me, it is the anger that has been most visible. For those who love me, it has been the depression. Either way, it has not brought out my best self. I am not the daily manager of the Lincoln Project, but I am the senior leader. As the senior leader, it is my responsibility to set an example and to assume accountability.
I would like to apologize to Jennifer Horn. I let my anger turn a business dispute into a public war that has distracted from the fight against American fascism. Jennifer was an important and valuable member of our team. Truth be told, I didn’t interact with Jennifer very often, but I always enjoyed the occasions when we did. She deserved better from me. She deserved a leader who could restrain his anger. I am sorry for my failure. Yesterday, I was shown correspondence between Jennifer Horn and Amanda Becker, a reporter
at The 19″‘ News. I was told it came from an anonymous source. That direct message should never have been made public. It is my job as the senior leader to accept responsibility for the tremendous misjudgment to release it.
I apologize on behalf of the organization to both Jennifer Horn and Amanda Becker. I woke up this morning, and realized I’ve been fighting for a long time. lt’s taken a toll. I’m tired.
But Schmidt also said he was stepping aside to increase diversity in the organization:
“Presently, the Lincoln Project board is made up of four middle-aged white men. That composition doesn’t reflect our nation, nor our movement. I am resigning my seat on the Lincoln Project board to make room for the appointment of a female board member as the first step to reform and professionalize the Lincoln Project.
“The Lincoln Project was built to ﬁght. It is my deepest hope that, despite the recent internal events that have distracted from our cause, you will entrust in us to continue to ﬁght for what the entire Lincoln Project movement believes in: combatting the rising tide of fascism and authoritarianism in this country.”
The Lincoln Project says it is hiring an outside investigator to look into Weaver’s behavior. And it appears that former employees of the grifter organization are ready to talk, and they may contradict Schmidt about what he knew and when he knew it.