Netanyahu rival Gideon Saar distances himself from Lincoln Project after harassment allegations

The former Likud veteran had been in talks with four Lincoln Project members on his strategy to unseat Netanyahu.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Gideon Saar’s New Hope party is likely to cut ties with the U.S.-based Lincoln Project, after allegations that one of the organization’s founders sexually harassed at least 10 young men.

The former Likud veteran, who defected in a dramatic December speech to create the New Hope party, had been in talks with four Lincoln Project members on his strategy to unseat Netanyahu.

Founded by anti-Trump Republicans, the Lincoln Project ran a campaign aimed at convincing Republican voters to abandon party loyalty and not vote for Trump, arguing on its site that “electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.”

After reports surfaced about sexual harassment perpetuated by co-founder Jon Weaver and a subsequent organization wide cover-up, a party spokesperson tried to distance New Hope from the organization.

“We have never worked with the Lincoln Project. The party engaged four senior consultants who were connected with the project. The individual in question is not known to us, we have never had any contact with him and certainly have not worked with him,” a spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post.

“In any event, due to financial considerations, the contract with the consultants is under review, and in the coming days, we will examine the possibility of further cooperation.”

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According to Fox News, Steve Schmidt, a cofounder who’d been in contact with Saar, resigned from the board after allegations that the Lincoln Project looked the other way while Weaver sexually harassed multiple young men, including one minor.

“No Lincoln Project employee, intern, or contractors ever made an allegation of inappropriate communication about John Weaver that would have triggered an investigation by HR or by an outside employment counsel,” Schmidt said in a statement.

“In other words, no human being ever made an allegation about any inappropriate sexualized communications about John Weaver ever.”

George Conway, a former member of the Lincoln Project, wrote on Twitter that he found reports about the alleged incidents “disturbing and appalling.”

“The Lincoln Project should hire an independent counsel to investigate these circumstances thoroughly and provide a full accounting of the facts to everyone who worked at the organization, as well as all those who contributed to it,” Conway tweeted.