The Lincoln Project on Thursday posted several screenshots of what appeared to be a private Twitter conversation involving the group's only female cofounder, Jennifer Horn, who resigned last week amid the ongoing sex scandal involving John Weaver.
The photos, posted by the Lincoln Project's official Twitter account, were quickly deleted after George Conway, another cofounder who cut ties with the group in August, advised they be "taken down immediately" because posting them was likely "a violation of federal law." To call it unprofessional, Conway argued, was "an understatement."
The Lincoln Project, which has been on the defensive since mid-January, when cofounder John Weaver was revealed to have engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with numerous young men, was apparently trying to preempt a forthcoming article by Amanda Becker of 19th News.
"Earlier this evening, we became aware that @AmandaBecker of @19thnews was preparing to publish a smear job on the Lincoln Project with the help of @NHJennifer," the Lincoln Project tweeted. "You hear a lot of talk about hit-jobs in journalism, but rarely do you get to see their origin story. Enjoy."
What followed were a series of photos of private Twitter messages exchanged between Becker and Horn regarding the Lincoln Project's shady finances. They appeared to have been taken by someone who had access to Horn's account and posted without her consent.
Lincoln Project cofounder Rick Wilson also deleted his tweet promoting the screenshots, which included what he must have considered a clever quip: "Abe hears things."
Journalists, among others, were shocked by the Lincoln Project's childish behavior. "I can't say I've ever seen something like what just happened involving Horn's account," said Maggie Haberman of the New York Times.
Columnist and podcast host Josh Barro agreed: "Well yeah, it's not typical for highly paid political consultants who could just shut up and keep cashing checks to instead do something extremely publicly illegal (and also unflattering) out of spite."
Emily Ramshaw, cofounder and CEO of 19th News, noted that the Lincoln Project posted the photos shortly after Becker had reached out to the group with a list of questions for the story she is working on. "We will not be bullied or intimidated out of pursuing critical journalism," she said.
The Lincoln Project's embarrassing display came hours after New York magazine published an article that seriously undermined the repeated claims by senior members, who insist they had no knowledge of Weaver's inappropriate interactions with young men.
The article cited multiple sources who claimed that senior members of the Lincoln Project were made aware of Weaver's harassment, and the threat it posed to the company, as early as June of last year.
Published under: Lincoln Project