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 Occasions reported final 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 Occasions interviewed was 14 when Mr. Weaver first contacted him; the messages grew to become overtly sexual after he turned 18.
On Thursday, The Related Press and New York journal, citing unidentified former staff, 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 assertion on Thursday evening, the Lincoln Challenge stated that Mr. Weaver had “betrayed all of us” and known as accounts of his harassment of younger males “heartbreaking.” It stated that Mr. Weaver’s conduct “have to be reckoned with,” and stated it was bringing in “a best-in-class exterior skilled” to “set up each accountability and greatest practices going ahead for The Lincoln Challenge.”
The previous staff, of their letter, expressed anger that Lincoln Challenge leaders had characterised experiences 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 ways and conduct we joined the Lincoln Challenge to defeat.”
During the last 12 months, the Lincoln Challenge established itself because the main Republican group against Mr. Trump, skewering him with mocking adverts and drawing a big following on the left. However for the reason that 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 stated in her assertion, “When The New York Occasions report on Weaver got here out not too long ago, I began getting cellphone 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 keeping with these younger males, have been communicated to others within the Lincoln Challenge.”