Mr. Weaver, 61, is a longtime Republican presidential marketing campaign adviser who gained prominence throughout John McCain’s run in 2008 and in addition labored for John Kasich in 2016. The Instances reported last month, based mostly on interviews with 21 younger males, that Mr. Weaver had for years despatched unsolicited and sexually provocative messages on-line. The youngest particular person The Instances interviewed was 14 when Mr. Weaver first contacted him; the messages turned overtly sexual after he turned 18.
On Thursday, The Associated Press and New York magazine, citing unidentified former workers, reported that Lincoln Challenge leaders knew about Mr. Weaver’s conduct final summer season, which Mr. Schmidt has continued to disclaim. Mr. Weaver took a medical depart from the group in August and introduced final month that he wouldn’t return.
In its statement on Thursday evening, the Lincoln Challenge mentioned that Mr. Weaver had “betrayed all of us” and known as accounts of his harassment of younger males “heartbreaking.” It mentioned that Mr. Weaver’s conduct “should be reckoned with,” and mentioned it was bringing in “a best-in-class outdoors skilled” to “set up each accountability and greatest practices going ahead for The Lincoln Challenge.”
The previous workers, of their letter, expressed anger that Lincoln Challenge leaders had characterised stories in regards to the group’s dealing with of Mr. Weaver’s conduct as hit jobs from supporters of former President Donald J. Trump.
Insinuating that their efforts constituted a right-wing assault, they wrote, “is just not in line with the values we signed as much as uphold, and resembles the techniques and conduct we joined the Lincoln Challenge to defeat.”
Over the past 12 months, the Lincoln Challenge established itself because the main Republican group against Mr. Trump, skewering him with mocking advertisements and drawing a big following on the left. However because the election, the group has been splintering. Two former board members, Ron Steslow and Mike Madrid, left in December. George T. Conway III, one other key determine within the group, has additionally departed.
Ms. Horn mentioned in her statement, “When The New York Instances report on Weaver got here out just lately, I began getting telephone calls from some victims who shared very disturbing tales about their interactions with him — interactions that apparently began almost a 12 months in the past and, in line with these younger males, have been communicated to others within the Lincoln Challenge.”