CNN commentator appears on scandal-ridden Lincoln Project's YouTube show

Two former officials call on The Lincoln Project to close amid scandals

Fox News’ ‘Outnumbered’ panel reacts to The Lincoln Project facing calls from two former top officials to shut down over a growing list of scandals, including accusations the group ignored sexual harassment claims against co-founder John Weaver.

CNN political commentator Charlie Dent appeared on the scandal-ridden Lincoln Project’s YouTube show Thursday night, showing the mainstream media isn’t ready to divorce itself from the disgraced political action committee.

Dent, a former Republican congressman who supported Joe Biden in the 2020 election, appeared on LPTV’s “The Breakdown” to discuss the divide in the GOP over Donald Trump and its future as a national party.

A prominent CNN personality’s appearance on its show comes during a humiliating period for the Lincoln Project, which has seen co-founder John Weaver exposed for predatory behavior toward young, gay men; revelations that his co-founders knew about Weaver’s alleged conduct months earlier than they claimed; accusations of self-dealing and financial mismanagement; reports of a toxic, homophobic workplace; and calls by its own co-founder and senior adviser to shut down.

CNN did not respond to a request for comment.

The Lincoln Project enjoyed favorable media coverage throughout 2020 for its trolling of Trump and his Republican allies, and its members were regular fixtures on CNN and MSNBC. The Washington Free Beacon reported this week that even after Weaver’s predation came to light, the Lincoln Project got $32 million in free media from Jan. 11 to Feb. 11 from the liberal cable outlets.

The group’s YouTube show returned on Tuesday for the first time since Feb. 11, and co-founder Rick Wilson is also back as a host. Tara Setmayer, who declared herself “dismayed and disappointed” on Feb. 12 by the scandals besetting the organization, is also back as a host on the show. According to her, she had her concerns at the time addressed within three days.

Wilson’s appearances on The Daily Beast podcast “The New Abnormal” have been suspended pending an internal investigation of the Lincoln Project’s handling of the Weaver scandal. Wilson dismissed an Associated Press report earlier this month about the group’s financial skulduggery as a “hit story from Trump world,” which drew considerable ridicule given the AP’s reputation.

The group, which is also actively tweeting, appears to be trying to conduct business as usual, but its star has dimmed considerably.

Former Lincoln Project executive director Sarah Lenti confirmed to The 19th that Schmidt was among the group’s co-founders who had knowledge of the allegations against Weaver earlier than they now claim, which sources told Fox News were an “open secret” for years.


The Lincoln Project has seen a rush to the exits in the meantime.

Co-founder Jennifer Horn left the Lincoln Project in disgust over Weaver’s conduct, but the group publicly accused her of shaking down the Lincoln Project for more money before her exit. Its Twitter feed also published private messages she exchanged with a reporter, and Wilson retweeted one of them. They deleted the messages following an online uproar.

Schmidt resigned from the board on Feb. 12 in a lengthy statement where he added he would step away from public life to deal with personal issues, although he still remains with the organization in a managerial capacity. 

Advisers Kurt Bardella and Molly Jong-Fast also resigned from the group in the fallout.


The same day of Dent’s appearance, CNN political writer Chris Cillizza published a video essay on why the Lincoln Project was “imploding.”

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