The Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver has resigned from the group after admitting to sending sexually inappropriate messages to several men online.
The veteran strategist, who has a wife and children, is accused by at least 30 young men of dangling his political connections and access to high-profile job opportunities “in an attempt to receive sexual favours,” according to a Forensic News report.
Weaver later issued a statement apologising in full for his actions while coming out as gay.
“To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry,” he told Axios. “They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you.”
“The truth is that I’m gay,” Weaver added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonising place.
“I have the most beautiful, loving and courageous family who I deceived all these years. I don’t deserve you. But I love you with all my heart and I’m sorry that you have to suffer for my mistakes.”
The Lincoln Project started in 2019 as a coalition of Republican operatives, including Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George Conway, who united to help prevent Donald Trump’s re-election.
The group gained a reputation for its viral memes bashing Trump and his administration, including billboards in New York City mocking Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
Weaver, 61, became one of the most prominent members of the group – until earlier this week, when allegations of his inappropriate behaviour began to surface.
Forensic News claimed that at least 30 individuals had come forward, accusing Weaver of sending them unsolicited pictures, flying “politically-ambitious men to his location for massages,” and offering jobs in exchange for sexual relations.
The men were reportedly aged between 19 and 28, and most indicated that they were in college or had recently graduated and were looking for jobs in politics. The crux of the complaints levied by the men is that Weaver used his position of power to exploit them as they were beginning their careers.
While Weaver said he took “full responsibility” for the inappropriate messages and conversations, he attributed the emergence of the allegations to critics’ animosity for the Lincoln Project.
“I want to state clearly that the other smears being levelled at me by Donald Trump’s enablers as a way to get back at the Lincoln Project for our principled stand for democracy are categorically false and outrageous,” he asserted.
A spokesperson for The Lincoln Project said simply: “John’s statement speaks for itself.”