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Behind-the-scenes Lincoln Project documentary on Showtime won’t be flattering to Steve Schmidt: Source


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Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt says an upcoming Showtime documentary series about the scandal-ridden organization will shed light on “who everyone is” at the outfit.

But one source who was involved with the Lincoln Project told Fox News Digital that Schmidt might not care for how he is portrayed.

“I think you’re going to see just how much he was disliked by the entire staff,” they said. “You’re going to see a complete lack of leadership and involvement in the organization.”

Showtime confirmed the project but couldn’t give a release date.

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“At this time, we’re not ready to release any information on the project, but hope to soon,” a Showtime executive told Fox News Digital.

Lincoln Project co-founders Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, George Conway and John Weaver. 

A crew led by Karim Amer – who produced the 2013 Oscar-nominated documentary “The Square” – and actor and liberal activist Fisher Stevens, got inside access to the group at its Park City, Utah, headquarters beginning in September 2020, when the group of NeverTrump Republicans was a media darling for its efforts to defeat the president. That year it was repeatedly profiled, including in the New Yorker, “60 Minutes,” and TIME Magazine, and its members, trolling ads and audacious digital strategy were applauded on CNN and MSNBC. The group succeeded beyond what sources say was its wildest dreams by raising nearly $90 million in 2020.

Now, its star is considerably dimmed following a torrent of scandals, and bitter in-fighting and sniping between former and current members. Schmidt, a former MSNBC contributor who still occasionally appears on the network, has been on a score-settling tweetstorm for more than a week attacking media outlets and individuals alike, including his former boss, the late Sen. John McCain, and his daughter Meghan McCain.

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The former GOP strategist, now a registered Democrat, has also trained fire on some of his former Lincoln Project colleagues – he says he left the group for good last year – and Schmidt teased the documentary’s release on Friday, tweeting, “The coming @ProjectLincoln 5 part series on Showtime will no doubt reveal who everyone is. LP a was a start up: It didn’t heed the lessons of them.”

While he says he led the PAC’s strategy, he’s said “unethical people” hijacked the group, and also said he didn’t want any responsibility from the start for managing the organization, which was gripped by operational problems.

“That was the agreement. I didn’t. It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I own that. It is a disappointing business at times but …..what can you do,” he tweeted Friday.

Writer Jeremy Scahill (R) of the Oscar nominated documentary feature "Dirty Wars" takes a self-portrait with producer Karim Amer of the Oscar nominated documentary feature "The Square" at a nominees reception at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California February 26, 2014. 

Writer Jeremy Scahill (R) of the Oscar nominated documentary feature “Dirty Wars” takes a self-portrait with producer Karim Amer of the Oscar nominated documentary feature “The Square” at a nominees reception at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California February 26, 2014. 
(REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

The Hollywood Reporter noted the documentary crew’s access in a story last February, when the organization was imploding under multiple reports about co-founder John Weaver’s online harassment of young men and the organization’s alleged self-dealing and toxic work environment. It was also dealing with the exit of co-founder Jennifer Horn culminating in Schmidt ordering a subordinate to publish her private messages with a reporter, and Schmidt’s resignation from the board.

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The New Yorker also mentioned the arrival of Amer, Stevens and producer Amy Redford to shoot the documentary in its profile in 2020. In addition to “The Square,” Amer co-produced and co-directed “The Great Hack” in 2019 about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, as well as HBO’s true-crime documentary series “The Vow.” Stevens, currently a co-star of HBO’s “Succession,” won an Oscar for producing the 2009 documentary “The Cove” on Japanese dolphin-hunting.

Potentially at play in the footage they got of the Lincoln Project could be learning more about what Schmidt and others knew, or didn’t know, about Weaver’s online predations that became public knowledge in January 2021. Schmidt has staunchly denied reports that he knew anything beyond vague rumors about Weaver’s closeted homosexuality before stories emerged that he’d harassed dozens of men, including some Lincoln Project staffers. In a letter from his law firm last week, he said he never saw a June 2020 email shown to co-founder Reed Galen making multiple, specific allegations of misconduct against Weaver.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 10: Fisher Stevens attends the "Guest Of Honour" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 10: Fisher Stevens attends the “Guest Of Honour” premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

The source involved with the Lincoln Project told Fox News Digital that the documentary could show otherwise.

“I don’t know what’s in the final cut, but I mean, I have talked to people involved in the production, including the directors, and I think what you’re going to see is directly from Steve’s mouth the truth that he was aware of the Weaver incident before he is publicly saying,” the former official said.

“What I’m going to say is there was absolutely evidence of it. I’m confident that it exists on camera. And whether that makes the cut or not, I don’t know. I don’t know how it could not,” they added.

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Schmidt and representatives for Stevens and Amer didn’t respond to requests for comment.



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