John Weaver, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, has been accused of sending explicit messages to nearly a dozen young men, offering them career advice and jobs in exchange for sexual favors.
Weaver, who formerly worked with the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), was accused by 21 men of sending unwarranted messages, one who stated that he began receiving messages when he was 14 years old, according to the New York Times.
According to the Times, Weaver told one young man that he would “spoil you when we see each other” and “help you other times. Give advice, counsel, help with bills. You help me … sensually.”
The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican group, insists it was unaware of the allegations until it started circulating in the news.
“There was no awareness or insinuations of any type of inappropriate behavior when we became aware of the chatter at the time,” co-founder Steve Schmidt told the Times.
The group also released a statement on the matter, calling Weaver “a predator, a liar, and an abuser”:
John Weaver led a secret life that was built on a foundation of deception at every level. He is a predator, a liar, and an abuser. We extend our deepest sympathies to those who were targeted by his deplorable and predatory behavior. We are disgusted and outraged that someone in a position of power and trust would use it for these means.
The totality of his deceptions are beyond anything any of us could have imagined and we are absolutely shocked and sickened by it. Like so many, we have been betrayed and deceived by John Weaver. We are grateful beyond words that at no time was John Weaver in the physical presence of any member of The Lincoln Project.
According to a tweet from political consultant Ryan James Girdusky, the conservative activist who first broke the story, the group’s statement is “an absolute lie,” telling his followers the group knew about the allegations and that he was crafting a story on the matter.