Twitter said a “bug” prevented users from searching for the Lincoln Project on the platform, after one of the organization’s founders admitted to sending “inappropriate” messages to multiple men.
A Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Caller that “this was a bug that was fixed yesterday.” Twitter did not address why the bug affected searches while the conservative, anti-Trump organization’s co-founder was facing allegations of misconduct.
The allegations began to surface last Saturday after Ryan James Girdusky, author of “They’re Not Listening,” sent a cryptic tweet claiming that one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project offered “jobs to young men in exchange for sex.”
The alleged missives from John Weaver, a veteran GOP operative and former aide to prominent Republicans like former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the late Sen. John McCain, were “sometimes coupled with offers of employment or political advancement,” Axios reported Friday.
Weaver issued an apology on Friday. He also said he is gay.
“To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry,” Weaver said in a statement obtained by Axios. “They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you.”
“The truth is that I’m gay,” Weaver added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”
Weaver took a “medical leave of absence” from the Lincoln Project last summer and “will not be returning to the group,” according to Axios.
Following Weaver’s comments to Axios, Girdusky said the Lincoln Project co-founder gave “the Kevin Spacey defense that he’s gay” and refused to “take ownership of the fact that he reached out to men 40 years younger than him and said he believed it was consensual.”
One man Girdusky knew from Twitter, as he described in a report for The American Conservative, reached out to him after Weaver followed Girdusky on the social platform.
“You know [John] Weaver?” the message to Girdusky reads. When Girdusky replied saying he “didn’t really know much” about Weaver other than the fact that the Lincoln Project co-founder followed him on Twitter, the young man replied, “I won’t say who for privacy reasons…but I’ve had two guys confirm he uses his position of power to try and proposition them sexually.”
The young man, who spoke to Girdusky on the condition of anonymity, told him that Weaver allegedly groomed “so many” other young men who are “probably wanna-be politicians that don’t see his predator-like behavior and entertain it.” He then alleged to Girdusky that Weaver used the term “my boy” on multiple occasions.
Screenshots of conversations between Weaver and various young men posted to Twitter appear to show the Lincoln Project founder making unsolicited advances through private messages.
Between the number of men Girdusky spoke to and a number of others in contact with Forensic News reporter Scott Stedman – who shared screenshots of his own messages with Weaver – Girdusky said the number of men who have had these experiences with Weaver may be around 60.
Beyond the seemingly flirtatious messages, Stedman said Weaver contacted men ages 19 to 26 who recently graduated and were looking to start their careers in politics.
“In most cases, Weaver initiated contact over Twitter Direct Message, though many times later conversations included phone calls,” Stedman reported. “Weaver, according to the people who shared details and screenshots of conversations, attempted multiple times to pay for travel in order to meet in-person. At least two people took him up on his offer, expecting the meetings to be about professional opportunities.”