On Wednesday, CNN reported they have obtained new text messages that appear to bolster allegations against American Conservative Union leader and top GOP lobbyist Matt Schlapp, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a male staffer on the ride back to a hotel in Atlanta weeks before the midterm elections in November.
Schlapp, an ally of former President Donald Trump, is best known for hosting the regular Conservative Political Action Conference, a key gathering for Republican activists and strategists from around the country.
"The strategist, a male in his late thirties who was working for the Georgia GOP and Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign at the time, told CNN that Schlapp made the unwanted sexual advances on the ride back from two area bars on October 19," reported Jamie Gangel, Gregory Krieg and Elizabeth Stuart. "Schlapp allegedly invited the strategist, who was assigned to drive Schlapp, to join him in his hotel room. The staffer declined the offer, and hours later reported the incident to senior campaign staff."
Schlapp has categorically denied the allegations. But according to the report, the text messages show both the staffer describing what happened to him, and disclosing it to other people.
“He’s pissed I didn’t follow him to his hotel room,” wrote the staffer to a friend, who is not planning to disclose his identity unless Schlapp continues to deny the allegations. “I just don’t know how to say it to my superiors that heir [sic] surrogate fondled my junk without my consent.” The friend then reportedly replied, “What a f**king creep.” Another chain of messages show the staffer disclosed to the Walker campaign, which relieved him of his duties driving Schlapp. Schlapp texted the staffer he was in the lobby, not realizing this arrangement, and the staffer replied back, “I was uncomfortable with what happened last night. The campaign does have a driver who is available to get you to Macon and back to the airport.” Schlapp replied, "If you could see it in your heart to call me at the end of the day. I would appreciate it. If not I wish you luck on the campaign."
According to the report, the first and second vice chairs of the ACU board of directors said in a statement, “We stand squarely behind Matt Schlapp, and the ACU Board of Directors has full confidence in his leadership of the organization.”
The Walker campaign itself exploded in personal scandal last year as well, amid reports that Walker, a Trump-endorsed candidate and former football star, secretly paid for multiple abortions for women he impregnated, and was violent towards his family. Walker ultimately lost the election in a runoff with incumbent Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock.