down and out

Right-wing Lincoln Project founder comes out, apologizes for “inappropriate” messages to men

John Weave
John Weaver (Photo: YouTube)

The founder of the Lincoln Project, the political action committee wishing to eradicate Trumpism from the Republican Party and edge the GOP a little closer to the center ground, has come out as gay.

The announcement from John Weaver, 61, who is married to a woman and has two children, came as he admitted and apologized for sending “inappropriate” messages to younger men – some of whom were graduates seeking internships.

Last week, multiple men posted on social media about receiving unsolicited and sexual messages from Weaver, sometimes coupled with offers of potential employment, internship, or political gain. Given Weaver has previously criticized Donald Trump, the President’s son, Donald Trump Jnr was among those to quickly re-tweet news of the allegations.

Related: Former antigay Congressman Aaron Schock officially comes out as gay

Weaver took a leave of absence from the Lincoln Project last summer. On Friday, he told Axios he would not be returning and gave his statement acknowledging the messages to men.

“For too long I have tried to live a life that wasn’t completely true, where I cleaved off an important part of myself in order to maintain what I thought was happiness and normalcy in the other part,’ Weaver began. “I was lying myself, to my family who gave me nothing but unconditional love, and to others, causing a great deal of pain to all.

“The truth is that I’m gay. And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.

“To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you.

“I have the most beautiful, loving and courageous family who I deceived all these years. I don’t deserve you. But I love you with all of my heart and I’m so sorry that you have to suffer for my mistakes.

“To my many friends and colleagues, I’m sorry that I let you down.

“While I am taking full responsibility for the inappropriate messages and conversations, I want to state clearly that the other smears being leveled at me by Donald Trump’s enablers as a way to get back at the Lincoln Project for our principled stand for democracy are categorically false and outrageous.

“I took a medical leave of absence from the Lincoln Project last summer and will not be returning to the organization, even after I fully recover. The project’s defense of the Republic and fight for democracy is vital.

“I hope that by telling this truth at long last my family and I can move forward. I plan to continue the unfinished fight for liberty, justice and human rights for all that has been my life’s work.”

Related: Ex-‘ex-gay’ who opposed marriage equality: “I’m about to get married to a dude”

Prior to co-founding the Lincoln Project in 2019, Weaver was a top adviser to Republicans including John McCain and John Kasich. In a 2015 profile, Politico called him an “elite operative” and considered him “among America’s most celebrated political consultants”.

The Lincoln Project has not issued any statement in response to the accusations against Weaver but has removed the page from its website that lists him as a co-founder.