Invoice Maher criticizes Steve Schmidt for the funds of the Lincoln challenge – however not for the Weaver scandal

“Real Time” host Bill Maher welcomed the co-founder of the Lincoln Project, Steve Schmidt, to his show on Friday evening – just hours after Schmidt left the contested group of anti-Trump Republicans.

But Maher avoided asking Schmidt about the explosive John Weaver scandal that rocked the group.

Schmidt was not exposed to whether he was aware of Weaver’s alleged predatory behavior – despite reports that at least ten allegations had been brought to the top of the Lincoln Project as early as June 2020, including Weaver’s alleged victims, including two employees of the Lincoln Project. Project.

Maher also skipped Schmidt’s title on the Lincoln Project when he introduced him to the audience and referred to him as “the founder of SES Strategies and an MSNBC employee.”

But Maher alluded to the problems of the Lincoln Project during the show’s panel discussion, telling Schmidt that he knew the guest had “had a rough week”.

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Maher then confronted the former GOP agent on the subject of massive sums of money that he claimed were “floating around in politics” and pointed to criticism. The Lincoln Project received from U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y.

Bill Maher, left, and Steve Schmidt. (HBO / Getty Images)

“You can say what you want here. I’m not here to chase you,” Maher began. “AOC said ‘The Lincoln Project’, this is your project that has put in a lot of great ads – Liberals loved those ads. She said you were in ‘scam territory’. I don’t know, I like the ads.”

Schmidt then pointed to the anti-Trump messages of the Lincoln Project, claiming that the group had built “the most successful super-PAC in American political history” and “caused enormous damage to Donald Trump.”

But Maher threw some cold water on Schmidt’s boasting.

“If that’s true, why did he do six percentage points better with Republicans? [in 2020] than he did in 2016? “asked Maher.” He got 94 percent of the Republican vote and 88 percent the first time. “

“Why did [Trump] do six percentage points better with Republicans [in 2020] when he was in 2016? He got 94 percent of the Republican vote and 88 percent the first time. “

– Bill Maher

Schmidt avoided the question, insisting that the group “try to win the election”. He said he didn’t give “as —” as many Republicans voted for Trump, but instead focused more on “independent white men.”

“Look, at the end of the day I’m proud of the fact that we destroyed Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s relationship and took Pence out of public life,” said Schmidt. “I’m proud that we beheaded his campaign manager because of our ads from the campaign. … Since the election we have helped boycott these 147 corporate America crews.”

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“If we look at the entirety of what the Lincoln Project … did in this election, we have billions of views -“

“And dollars,” Maher intervened.

“We have more followers online than the RNC,” said Schmidt. “We have built streaming services and podcast services -“

“And all the money went where it should?” Asked Maher.

“Of the $ 87 million raised through the Lincoln Project, $ 63-66 million went to voter contact and voter contact programs,” replied Schmidt. “Campaigns cost a lot of money. All of these things, every Super PAC works like this. And the Lincoln Project did it for a reason.”

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“Where’s the other money gone?” Maher hugged the group’s co-founder.

“The law requires you to provide information, but you do not have to disclose subtracter payments. This protects your employees and all types of providers from harassment of the Trump people,” replied Schmidt. “We want to protect our employees, the infrastructure costs, but we have spent 75, 80 percent of the total money on contact with the voters.”

Later, when Schmidt boasted that the Lincoln Project was the “first” group to “have drawn blood,” Maher challenged the co-founder over a certain ad he believed was his idea.

“Well, actually Steve, you almost stole one of my pieces hit by hit,” said Maher.

“Which one?” Asked Schmidt.

“The display that Trump is frail and can’t put a sentence together,” Maher replied. “Look, I’m glad you did, but …”

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“I mean, it’s not the most original work – right? – to make that … your weakness?” Schmidt pushed back. “It’s a pretty obvious thing.”

“Steve, don’t let me show both of them,” said an irritated Maher, before asking his producers on set if they had the clips available to watch and compare. “We did that and then you did it about a month later.”

In fact, last year the Lincoln Project was called upon to repeatedly plagiarize the tweets of others who had fewer followers.

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