The Lincoln Project, the fiercly anti-Trump group that reviles the former president as a dangerous authoritarian, revealed last week its goal is to get Trump to run again in 2024.
CNN reported Friday on alleged tension between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over their potential 2024 presidential runs, and Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson discussed the left-wing group’s attempts to use this tension in their marketing.
Wilson described a commercial set to air in Palm Beach – home of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago – that will frame DeSantis as the GOP “It guy” in an effort to annoy Trump. From there, he admitted that the group’s goal is ultimately to push Trump as the sole Republican candidate in 2024.
“We want Trump to kill his own babies,” Wilson said. “We believe if we narrow the field and it’s only Trump in 2024, it’s an easy choice for Americans to say ‘no.'”
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This admission conflicted with The Lincoln Project famously beginning in 2019 as a group of anti-Trump Republicans. Mainstream media frequently depicted its members as principled former and current Republicans who regularly sparred with the former president, showering them with free air time. TIME Magazine in particular praised the group for demonstrating “a knack for quickly producing memorable videos and advertisements that get under Trump’s skin.”
Co-founder Steve Schmidt, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat, wrote this summer that Trump was a “clear and present danger” whose words would surely “kill again.”
The Lincoln Project later came under controversy this year after multiple reports revealed sexual harassment allegations against co-founder John Weaver. Subsequent reports then emerged that his fellow founders and high-level staffers were aware of the allegations against him months before they claimed.
Following the Weaver scandal, a flood of reports then followed on accusations of financial mismanagement and funneling of liberal donor money – the group raked in $90 million in 2020 and had visions of a full-fledged media empire – to co-founders’ firms. After the group tweeted out private messages exchanged between co-founder Jennifer Horn and a reporter investigating its various issues, several key figures called for it to disband.
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The Lincoln Project has since grown to become anti-Republican as it frequently speaks out and campaigns against Republican politicians. In October, the group took credit for a failed political stunt against Virginia Gov,-elect Glenn Youngkin to smear his supporters as White supremacists. Social media users torched their efforts which failed to defeat Youngkin.
Fox News’ Brian Flood and Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.