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Ex-Lincoln Project employees demand release from NDAs to discuss co-founder’s behavior

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Six former employees at the anti-Trump Republican group the Lincoln Project went after its leaders Thursday night, demanding to be released from their nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) so they can talk openly about John Weaver, a now-departed co-founder who has been accused of sexually harassing young men.

The organization, amid receiving massive criticism for the allegations against Weaver, announced Thursday night that it would be hiring an outside investigator to review his tenure at the Lincoln Project.

Leaders of the Lincoln Project say that they were unaware of Weaver’s conduct until recent reports detailed these allegations.

RELATED: Karl Rove says he’s known of Lincoln Project co-founder’s behavior ‘since 1988’

In an open letter published by The New York Times, the six unnamed former employees and associates asked that their NDAs be waved, saying that they wanted to be allowed to disclose information “that would aid the press, public and our donors in answering questions relevant to the public interest.”

“Tonight, in light of recent events, news reports and statements from the Lincoln Project, we call on the remaining leadership of the Lincoln Project to release us all and all others from all Non-Disclosure Agreements (or other contracts), without precondition, regarding (a) harassment perpetuated by John Weaver that we have experienced or witnessed (b) knowledge of harassment of others by John Weaver (c) any other information specific to the John Weaver situation that would aid the press, public and our donors in questions relevant to the public interest, and to the interests of the Lincoln Project’s many loyal fans and small donors,” the letter reads.

“Recently published stories about the Lincoln Project are filled with inaccuracies, incorrect information, and reliant exclusively on anonymous sources,” the Lincoln Project said in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday night. “However, there is a central truth in all of them that must be reckoned with and that is John Weaver’s appalling conduct and the abuse he inflicted on people.”

Thus, the organization announced, that it would be retaining a “best-in-class outside professional to review Mr. Weaver’s tenure with the organization and to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for the Lincoln Project.”

At the end of its statement, the Lincoln Project emphasized that “any person who believes they are unable to talk about John Weaver publicly because they are bound by an NDA, should contact the Lincoln Project for a release.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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