John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.
“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,” Weaver said.
“The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “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.”
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The context: During the past week, several men have alleged on social media that Weaver sent them unsolicited and sexually suggestive messages, sometimes coupled with offers of employment or political advancement.
Last summer, the political strategist and media adviser took a medical leave of absence from the Lincoln Project, a high-dollar anti-Trump super PAC. He told Axios he will not be returning to the group. “The project's defense of the Republic and fight for democracy is vital,” he said.
Before the Lincoln Project, Weaver was a top adviser to leading Republicans including John McCain and John Kasich. Amid Donald Trump’s political ascendance, he became one of the most prominent members of the so-called “Never Trump” movement.
While apologetic, Weaver attributed the emergence of the allegations to critics of him and the Lincoln Project.
“While I am taking full responsibility for the inappropriate messages and conversations,” Weaver wrote, “I want to state clearly that the other smears being leveled at me ... are categorically false and outrageous.”
A spokesman for the Lincoln Project said, "The statement speaks for itself."
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