By New York Post. The founders of the Lincoln Project, a headline-grabbing anti-Trump political action committee formed by GOP operatives who describe the president as a “crook” and “huckster,” have their own checkered dealings with Russia and the tax man, documents obtained by The Post reveal.
Since its inception last November — announced with a blistering New York Times op-ed — the brainchild of George Conway, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson and John Weaver has raked in more than $19.4 million, according to FEC filings, and has needled President Trump repeatedly with provocative TV ads.
But the group — which the National Review on Monday dubbed “The Grifter Project” and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) last week dismissed as a “cabal of political consultants all in it for the money” — don’t exactly practice what they preach.
Co-founder Weaver, a political consultant known for his work on John McCain’s and John Kasich’s presidential campaigns, registered as a Russian foreign agent for uranium conglomerate TENEX in a six-figure deal last year, filings with the Department of Justice show.
TENEX’s parent company is Rosatom, a Russian state-owned corporation that also owns Uranium One — the company that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 in speaking fees and millions to the Clinton Foundation after then-President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on the controversial merger in 2010. (Read more from “Lincoln Project Founders Have Ties to Russia and Tax Troubles, Docs Reveal” HERE)
The Grifter Project
By National Review. The four founders of the Lincoln Project — Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, George Conway, and John Weaver — introduced their new venture to the world in a New York Times op-ed in which they described their aims as to prevent President Trump’s reelection by “persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states” to vote against him and to take down as many Republican members of Congress as possible.
But the project is a scam — little more than the most brazen election-season grift in recent memory. And it is working. As the ragtag band of three otherwise unemployed strategists plus one lawyer hoped, the allure of Republican-on-Republican violence has proven irresistible to the MSNBC set. Per their most recent FEC filing, the group has raised $19.4 million since its inception this past November.
The gap between the group’s rhetoric and its actions is enormous. The Times op-ed declared that “national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope.” And yet the group’s focus thus far has been on vulnerable Senate Republicans, notably the moderate Susan Collins and the mainstream Cory Gardner, who haven’t exhibited any such behavior. Neither has Joni Ernst, another target.
The Lincoln Project’s ads don’t attack these GOP senators for supporting profligate federal spending, contributing to explosive debt, or enabling feckless foreign policy, nor do they bash President Trump for his incoherent trade policy or his failure to tame an ascendant administrative state. Rather, they attack Republicans from the left, in terms that please the Lincoln Project’s predominantly progressive funders. Rarely, across dozens of ads, is a political principle recognizable to anyone as center-right to be found. Is the Lincoln Project aware of who Abraham Lincoln was?
That most spots sound instead like Democratic boilerplate — the type of partisan schlock a Democratic candidate might run against a GOP opponent in a D+5 district — may go some way to explaining where the Lincoln Project is coming from. One ad slams North Carolina senator Thom Tillis for proposed cuts to federal education funding and Obamacare while claiming he supports putting “kids in cages.” Another sandbags Colorado’s Cory Gardner for siding with Trump on health care and the environment. Yet another lectures Susan Collins that she works “for Maine, not Mitch McConnell.” In an ad assailing the Senate majority leader, the group dubs him “Rich Mitch” and smears him as someone who has used his office to accumulate wealth (ignoring that most of McConnell’s wealth comes from his wife, Elaine Chao, not from anything he did during his time as a senator). (Read more from “The Grifter Project” HERE)