Friday on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, host Bill Maher featured Lincoln Project cofounder Steve Schmidt on his show, just a few hours after Schmidt resigned from the well-funded group of Never-Trump grifters amid scandals including underage sexual harassment allegations against a fellow co-founder.
During the show, Maher did not once broach the topic of John Weaver’s grooming of men as young as 14, offering them positions working for the Lincoln Project and sending many of them sexually explicit messages. Instead, Maher spoke about the ongoing impeachment trial against former President Trump, fundraising in politics, and election-related subjects. Maher did not even introduce Schmidt as associated with the Lincoln Project, but as a founder of SES Strategies and an MSNBC contributor.
But Maher did pressure Schmidt about what happened to the bulk of the nearly $90 million raised for the Lincoln Project, only 1/3 of which went directly toward advertising. “That leaves tens of millions of dollars that went toward expenses like production costs, overhead — and exorbitant consulting fees collected by members of the group,” the Associated Press reported this week.Schmidt did not answer. Instead, he claimed, “I think that we built the most successful super PAC in American political history. We turned it into a movement, and I think we did tremendous damage to Donald Trump.”
Maher countered that 6% more Republicans turned out for Trump in 2020 than in 2016. So much for the Never-Trumpers who claimed to be fighting “Trumpism” by swaying conservative voters.
“We were trying to win the election. I really didn’t give a shit how many Republicans voted for Trump or not,” Schmidt said, dismissing the criticism.
If Schmidt had been part of an organization supporting Trump instead of trying to subvert him, Maher would have eviscerated him over both the group’s obvious grifting and the sex scandal.