“Actual Time” host Invoice Maher welcomed Lincoln Undertaking co-founder Steve Schmidt to his present on Friday night time — simply hours after Schmidt resigned from the embattled group of anti-Trump Republicans.
However Maher prevented asking Schmidt concerning the explosive John Weaver scandal that has rocked the group.
Schmidt was not confronted about whether or not he was conscious of Weaver’s alleged predatory conduct — regardless of experiences that the management of The Lincoln Undertaking had been informed about at the least 10 allegations as early as June 2020, with Weaver’s alleged victims together with two Lincoln Undertaking workers.
Maher additionally disregarded Schmidt’s Lincoln Undertaking title when he launched him to the viewers, referring to him because the “founding father of SES Methods and an MSNBC contributor.”
However Maher did allude to The Lincoln Undertaking’s troubles throughout the present’s panel dialogue, telling Schmidt he knew that visitor had “had a tough week.”
Maher then confronted the previous GOP operative with regards to huge quantities of cash that he claimed have been “sloshing round in politics,” pointing to criticism The Lincoln Undertaking acquired from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
“You may say no matter you need right here. I am not right here to prosecute you,” Maher started. “AOC stated ‘The Lincoln Undertaking,’ that is your mission that ran numerous nice adverts — liberals cherished these adverts. She stated you have been in ‘rip-off territory.’ I do not know, I just like the adverts.”
Schmidt then touted The Lincoln Undertaking’s anti-Trump messages, claiming the group constructed “probably the most profitable tremendous PAC in American political historical past” and did “super injury to Donald Trump.”
However Maher tossed some chilly water on Schmidt’s boasts.
“If that is true, then why did he do six share factors higher with Republicans [in 2020] than he did in 2016?” Maher requested. “He received 94 p.c of Republican votes and 88 p.c the primary time.”
“Why did [Trump] do six share factors higher with Republicans [in 2020] than he did in 2016? He received 94 p.c of Republican votes and 88 p.c the primary time.”
Schmidt sidestepped the query, insisting the group was “attempting to win the election.” He stated he did not “give a s—” what number of Republicans voted for Trump however was extra targeted on “impartial White males.”
“Look, on the finish of the day, I am happy with the truth that we destroyed Donald Trump’s and Mike Pence’s relationship and took Pence out of public life,” Schmidt stated. “I am proud that we decapitated his marketing campaign supervisor from the marketing campaign due to our adverts. … For the reason that election, we have helped lead a boycott of Company America for these 147 seditionists.”
“Once we take a look at the totality of what the Lincoln Undertaking … did on this election, we accrued billions of views — “
“And ,” Maher chimed in.
“We have now extra followers on-line than the RNC did,” Schmidt stated. “We constructed streaming companies and podcast companies — “
“And all the cash went towards the place it ought to?” Maher requested.
“Out of $87 million that was raised by The Lincoln Undertaking, about 63-to-66 million of that cash went in the direction of voter contact, into voter contact applications,” Schmidt responded. “Campaigns value some huge cash. All of these things, each tremendous PAC operates like this. And The Lincoln Undertaking did it for a selected purpose.”
“The place did the opposite cash go?” Maher pressed the group co-founder.
“The regulation requires that you just make disclosures, however you do not have to reveal subtractor funds, which is the way you shield your workers and all kinds of distributors from the harassment of the Trump individuals,” Schmidt responded. “We need to shield our individuals, infrastructure prices, however we spent 75, 80 p.c of whole cash on voter contact.”
Later, as Schmidt bragged that The Lincoln Undertaking was the “first” group that “drew blood” in opposition to Trump, Maher challenged the co-founder about one specific advert that he instructed was his concept.
“Effectively, truly Steve, you stole one in every of my bits nearly beat for beat,” Maher stated.
“Which one?” Schmidt requested.
“The advert about Trump being infirm and could not put a sentence collectively,” Maher responded. “Look, I am glad you probably did, however … “
“I imply, it isn’t probably the most authentic work — proper? — making that … his infirmity?” Schmidt pushed again. “It is a fairly apparent factor.”
“Steve, do not make me present each of them,” an irritated Maher stated earlier than asking his producers on the set if they’d the clips accessible to look at and evaluate. “We did this and then you definitely did yours a couple of month later.”
Final 12 months, The Lincoln Undertaking was, in truth, known as out for repeatedly plagiarizing the tweets of others who had lesser followings.