The co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, 61-year-old John Weaver, has been accused of online harassment by 21 different men over the course of his political career, including at least one as young as 14, The New York Times reported.
In 2015, then-14-year-old Cole Trickle Miele followed Weaver on Twitter and admitted to being flattered when the big-time political consultant direct-messaged him through the platform.
“I remember being a 14-year-old kid interested in politics and being semi-starstruck by John Weaver engaging in a conversation with me,” Miele said, according to the Times.
But the conversations quickly devolved into questions about Miele’s body, and when Miele turned 18, he said Weaver sent an invitation.”I want to come to Vegas and take you to dinner and drinks and spoil you!!” Weaver allegedly wrote, and then asked Miele to send him his body “stats.”
Kyle Allen, now 23, said Weaver messaged him between 2016 and 2018, asking questions about his body including whether he was circumcised.
“I would try to veer the conversations toward politics, and he would always find a way to bring it back to sexual stuff,” Allen told the Times.
Weaver has admitted to messaging young men and apologized for the behavior, which he claims he thought was consensual at the time.
“I am so disheartened and sad that I may have brought discomfort to anyone in what I thought at the time were mutually consensual discussions. In living a deeply closeted life, I allowed my pain to cause pain for others,” Weaver said, also coming out as openly gay in the wake of the accusations, according to the Washington Examiner. “For that I am truly sorry to these men and everyone and for letting so many people down.”
Lincoln Project disavows Weaver
Weaver had stepped away from the Lincoln Project before the allegations broke, and the group has been quick to distance themselves from further association with him.
“John Weaver led a secret life that was built on a foundation of deception at every level,” the group said in a statement. “He is a predator, a liar, and an abuser. … Like so many, we have been betrayed and deceived by John Weaver.”
The statement also said the group is “grateful” Weaver was never physically alone with anyone at the Project when he worked there.
Weaver was a key adviser to the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Ohio governor and presidential candidate John Kasich (R-OH) before helping launch the Lincoln Project, which was focused on taking down former President Donald Trump and his allies.