Steve Schmidt, co-founder of the scandal-plagued Lincoln Project, unleashed a late-night Twitter attack on Meghan McCain Saturday, describing her as a “rotten person” and blasting her dad for cozying up to Russian operatives in his 2008 run for president.
In a 16-part thread, the former campaign manager for Sen. John McCain unleashes on the late senator’s daughter, calling her “the singularly most rotten person I have ever met.” Schmidt claims the senator’s presidential campaign was cleaved by two factions, including one led by Paul Manafort, who he said was in the pocket of Russian President Vladimir Putin via Moscow’s ally, then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
“Your Father tolerated his campaign chairman being in business and working for Putin through His association with Yanukovych,” Schmidt wrote. “SAME AS TRUMP.
“The story of American corruption in Ukraine starts here. It starts in John McCain’s operation, not Trump’s,” Schmidt added in the tweetstorm.
The other faction in the McCain campaign, according to Schmidt, was led by John Weaver, the longtime McCain aide who co-founded The Lincoln Project and then left in disgrace amid allegations he sexually harassed more than 20 young men, many of whom worked for the PAC. Weaver, according to Schmidt, was horrified that McCain would allow Russian operatives to influence his campaign.
I had no interest whatsoever in running a Presidential Campaign in 2008. One of my closest friends was running John McCain’s campaign and John Weaver was the chief strategist. There were two factions in the campaign. There was a pro-democracy faction and there was
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) May 8, 2022
As McCain’s bid for the 2008 GOP nomination foundered, Schmidt said he was summoned to right the ship. After siding with Weaver, what Schmidt labeled “the pro-democracy faction” steered McCain to the nomination, setting him up to lose to Barack Obama.
In addition to painting himself as the campaign’s savior, Schmidt absolves himself of any blame associated with the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. That, he blamed on Manafort, the longtime campaign operative who would later briefly serve as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016.
“Putin’s guy, the one who was Victor Yanukovich’s henchman was in charge of ALL of the DUE DILIGENCE around Palin,” Schmidt wrote.” I wasn’t.”
In a follow-up thread, Schmidt renewed his attack on Meghan McCain by accusing her of leaking the names of her father’s associates who were not invited to his funeral.
“@MeghanMcCain I want you to know that was the greatest act of cruelty I ever experienced,” he wrote. “It was for all of us that you targeted. It was humiliating and shaming.”
McCain had not responded on Twitter, but the attack appears to have been sparked by her like of a Twitter reply baselessly claiming that Schmidt had been “running a pedo racket,” as well as years of bad blood.
“After 14 years of abuse and attacks, today is the day I have decided to respond,” Schmidt said in the ferocious Twitter thread.
The controversial Lincoln Project, formed by once and former Republicans to stop Donald Trump’s re-election, has since broadened its opposition to Republicans across the nation, including mainstream Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. It also made news this week when it blasted Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade. But most of its emphasis has been on political races.
The Lincoln Project was established in 2019 by a group of conservatives, including Weaver, Schmidt, and George Conway, husband of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. It raised tens of millions of dollars, but questions were raised about how it spent the money after it was revealed some $50 million went to longtime Republican operatives, including Rick Wilson and Schmidt.
Scandal followed when Weaver, a married father of two, was accused in early 2021 of sending sexually charged messages to male teens. More than 20 men came forward in accusing Weaver of harassing them online.
Weaver is no longer associated with the group.