Home News Inside the Lincoln Project's 'toxic' workplace

Inside the Lincoln Project's 'toxic' workplace


This story was published in partnership with The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy. 

The Lincoln Project’s launch in late 2019 was designed to make a splash. 

“We are Republicans, and we want Trump defeated,” four of its co-founders wrote in the New York Times of the organization that would go on to raise nearly $90 million for its stated mission of defeating Donald Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box in 2020.

They created attention-grabbing ads that provoked responses from the former president. High-profile liberals such as DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen wrote them six-figure checks. Hundreds of small-dollar donations poured in. Leaders and staff decamped to a pre-election headquarters in the ski haven of Park City, Utah, where their effort was chronicled by Hollywood filmmakers. Their post-election plans included leveraging the massive following they gained to build a media empire. They recently launched the platform LPTV. 

The Lincoln Project began in late 2019 with eight co-founders. By late February 2020, six remained with the group: Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, Jennifer Horn, Reed Galen, Mike Madrid and Ron Steslow. As of last week, there were three.

But, as of last week, just three of the Lincoln Project’s eight co-founders remained — Rick Wilson, Reed Galen and Steve Schmidt. Schmidt resigned from the organization’s board late Friday, though he remains affiliated with the organization.

The organization is facing a rapidly escalating controversy over allegations that another of its co-founders, John Weaver, sexually harassed more than a dozen young men, including some working for the project, and over what other members of senior management knew about the claims and when they knew it.


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