WASHINGTON — Steve Schmidt, one of the founders of the notoriously anti-Trump Lincoln Project, is a registered member of an ultraconservative political party, voting records show — just weeks after he claimed he was becoming a Democrat.
In a post-election interview on Dec. 15, the longtime GOP strategist who former President Donald Trump once denounced as a “blathering idiot,” announced he was registering as a member of the Democratic Party after almost three decades as a Republican.
“I spent 29 years as a Republican, I’ve spent two and a half as an independent, and later this afternoon I will register as a member of the Democratic Party,” Schmidt told Barack Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe on his podcast.
But Utah state voting records accessed by The Post show that Schmidt is an active registered member of the Independent American Party, a small far-right group which promotes conspiracy theories on its website and whose platform could not be further removed from the Democrats’ liberal bent.
The party has 50,000 members and also endorses many of Trump’s policies as “common sense.”
“Not surprisingly the accusers of Trump have also come forward, again (perhaps funded and pushed by Soros?),” former Utah gubernatorial candidate and party member Gregory Duerden opined in an article published on the group’s website.
It appears that Schmidt’s membership to the group is newfound. When The Post accessed the operative’s voting records on the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s website in July, Schmidt was listed as an inactive voter with no party affiliation — a charge he denied.
When reached for comment on Wednesday, Schmidt said he had been a public supporter of marriage equality since 2008 and was proud to be a strategist with the ACLU fighting for marriage equality — which the IAP is opposed to. He said he had no idea why he was registered as a member of the party.
Schmidt and his Lincoln Project co-founders spent 2020 needling Trump with headline-grabbing viral TV ads that netted the group close to $100 million and earned them lavish praise from the left.
But the group has been rocked by the recent allegations that co-founder John Weaver sexually harassed dozens of young men.
The Lincoln Project was founded by a number of anti-Trump Republicans, including Jennifer Horn, the former chair of the New Hampshire GOP, media consultant Rick Wilson, and, most notably, George Conway, a vocal critic of the president in spite of his wife Kellyanne Conway serving as Trump’s senior counselor in the White House.
Throughout 2020, Schmidt repeatedly sounded off on Trump to his 1.4 million Twitter followers, calling the then-president a “grifter” and a “repugnant man” before The Post revealed in July that Schmidt met with Trump about a job on his campaign in 2016.
The GOP strategist denied the meeting was a job interview and claimed that he was there to “see what [Trump] was about,” but several sources said Schmidt has been gunning for the campaign chief role.
The Lincoln Project raised $87 million during the 2019-’20 election cycle but its spending soon came under scrutiny and it was rebuked as allegedly a scam and cabal of grifters by members of both the GOP and the Democratic Party.
The Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign-finance watchdog group, in May 2020 accused the political action committee of “funneling money to its advisory board members and spending relatively little airing political ads to influence voters.”
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