Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt grilled by Bill Maher after he quit the group in wake of John Weaver scandal

LINCOLN Project co-founder Steve Schmidt was grilled by Real Time host Bill Maher just hours after he quit in the wake of the John Weaver scandal.

Maher quizzed Schmidt on the Project's finances but ducked out of asking the former co-founder about the John Weaver interview that rocked the anti-Trump Republicans.


Despite reports that The Lincoln Project has been aware of 10 allegations as early as June last year, Schmidt was not quized on Weaver's predatory behaviour.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Schmidt said he wished John Weaver, who is under investigation, was not a co-founder of the group.

Schmidt also explained that he is stepping down because “presently, the Lincoln Project board is made up of four middle-aged white men.” 

“That composition does not reflect our nation, nor our movement,” Schmidt stated.

Weaver is accused of sending unsolicited, sexually suggestive messages to more than a dozen young men. 

He was however grilled on the "rough week" he'd been faced with.

Presently, the Lincoln Project board is made up of four middle-aged white men.

"You can say whatever you want here. I'm not here to prosecute you," Maher began.

"AOC said 'The Lincoln Project,' that's your project that ran a lot of great ads — liberals loved those ads. She said you were in 'scam territory.' I don't know, I like the ads."

Schmidt bragged the Project's anti-Trump messages, claiming the group built "the most successful super PAC in American political history" and did "tremendous damage to Donald Trump."

But Maher hit back: "If that's true, then why did he do six percentage points better with Republicans [in 2020] than he did in 2016?

"He got 94 percent of Republican votes and 88 percent the first time."

Schmidt dodged the question, claiming the group was "trying to win the election".

He said he "didn't give a s***" how many republicans voted for Trump but he was "more focused on independent White men."

"Look, at the end of the day, I'm proud of the fact that we destroyed Donald Trump's and Mike Pence's relationship and took Pence out of public life," Schmidt said.

IN THE HOT SEAT

"I'm proud that we decapitated his campaign manager from the campaign because of our ads. … Since the election, we've helped lead a boycott of Corporate America for those 147 seditionists." 

"When we look at the totality of what the Lincoln Project … did in this election, we accumulated billions of views," but he was cut off before Maher jumped in with: "And dollars."

"We have more followers online than the RNC did," Schmidt said.

"We built streaming services and podcast services — "

"And all the money went toward where it should?" Maher asked. 

"Out of $87 million that was raised by The Lincoln Project, about 63-to-66 million of that money went towards voter contact, into voter contact programs," Schmidt responded.

"Campaigns cost a lot of money. All of this stuff, every super PAC operates like this. And The Lincoln Project did it for a specific reason."

"Where did the other money go?" Maher pressed the group co-founder. 

"The law requires that you make disclosures, but you don't have to disclose subtractor payments, which is how you protect your staff and all sorts of vendors from the harassment of the Trump people," Schmidt responded.

"We want to protect our people, infrastructure costs, but we spent 75, 80 percent of total money on voter contact."

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