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John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he 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.”

The context: During the past week, several men have alleged on social media that Weaver sent them unsolicited and sexually suggestive messages, sometimes coupled with offers of employment or political advancement.

  • Last summer, the political strategist and media adviser took a medical leave of absence from the Lincoln Project, a high-dollar anti-Trump super PAC. He told Axios he will not be returning to the group. “The project's defense of the Republic and fight for democracy is vital,” he said.
  • Before the Lincoln Project, Weaver was a top adviser to leading Republicans including John McCain and John Kasich. Amid Donald Trump’s political ascendance, he became one of the most prominent members of the so-called “Never Trump” movement.

While apologetic, Weaver attributed the emergence of the allegations to critics of him and the Lincoln Project.

  • “While I am taking full responsibility for the inappropriate messages and conversations,” Weaver wrote, “I want to state clearly that the other smears being leveled at me ... are categorically false and outrageous.”
  • A spokesman for the Lincoln Project said, "John's statement speaks for itself."

Editor's note: Updates to add link to statement, Weaver's most recent position.

Read John Weaver's statement:

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Laurel Hubbard becomes first openly trans woman to compete at Olympics

Laurel Hubbard. Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made history on Monday as the first openly transgender female athlete to compete at the Olympics.

Why it matters: The presence of trans and nonbinary athletes at this year's Games has been celebrated by LGBTQ+ rights advocates, but stirred controversy among critics, who argue trans women have an unfair advantage even after taking hormones to lower their testosterone.

Index fund investors saved $357 billion over last 25 years

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors who’ve opted to passively track the stock market haven’t just outperformed most active fund managers. They’ve also saved a ton of money in fees while doing it.

Why it matters: There are loads of active fund managers aiming to beat the returns of funds that track indexes like the S&P 500.