The anti-Donald Trump Lincoln Project released a statement on Sunday addressing the reports of co-founder John Weaver's alleged sexual harassment of young males. According to the statement, the political action committee was unaware of the political consultant's "secret life." The group called Weaver — who is no longer with the group — a "predator, liar, and an abuser."
Author Ryan Girdusky, who broke the story earlier this month, claimed the Lincoln Project is lying about their ignorance of Weaver's purported sexual harassment.
"This statement by the @ProjectLincoln is an absolute lie," he tweeted. "Members did know. Young men approached them about the accusations. Members knew I was writing the story and warned John Weaver."
Girdusky noted the Lincoln Project ignored the accusations until they were covered in The New York Times report published on Sunday.
"When young men approached them they ignored it. When they heard I was working on the story they warned Weaver. When I wrote a story they said nothing. When Axios published a story they said he's just gay. Now he's a predator. @ProjectLincoln lied. They knew. They're complicit."According to the report, 21 men have come forward and accused Weaver of online harassment. In multiple instances, he allegedly tried to use his influence within the political world to receive sexual favors. One of the alleged victims who spoke to the outlet — Cole Trickle Miele — said he began receiving messages from the consultant when he was 14. When the alleged victim turned 18, the messages reportedly became more direct.
The communication with the previously mentioned victim reportedly took place when Weaver worked for ex-Ohio Gov. John Kasich's presidential bid. Per The Cincinnati Enquirer, Kasich spokesman Jim Lynch said the accusations caught the team by "complete surprise" and claimed they did not see evidence of such behavior from Weaver while he was working with them.
As noted by The Cincinnati Enquirer, none of the accusers covered in The New York Times report said Weaver engaged in unlawful conduct. In addition, one of the messages led to a consensual physical encounter.
The accusations against Weaver are one of many scandals to hit him and The Lincoln Project. Notably, documents suggested the consultant was previously a registered Russian foreign agent for the uranium conglomerate TENEX. Elsewhere, financial documents suggested the strategist has tax problems — an outstanding $389,420 federal tax lien against his Florida home.
The group has also received scrutiny for its finances and has been accused of profiteering from American opposition to Trump.