Matt Schlapp Source: CSpan

Herschel Walker Staffer Claims Conservative Pundit Matt Schlapp 'Grabbed His Crotch'


A staffer for GOP Georgia candidate Herschel Walker's Senate campaign has "alleged to The Daily Beast that longtime Republican activist Matt Schlapp made 'sustained and unwanted and unsolicited' sexual contact with him while the staffer was driving Schlapp back from an Atlanta bar this October."

Schlapp is one of conservative America's leading figures as the chairman of the powerful CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee). The group hosts an annual event in D.C. (2023 is coming up in March) gives leading right political figures the opportunity to present their agendas on issues to the public. He has been married to conservative pundit Mercedes Schlapp since 2002.

"The staffer said the incident occurred the night of Oct. 19, when Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union and lead organizer for the influential Conservative Political Action Conference, "groped" and "fondled" his crotch in his car against his will after buying him drinks at two different bars," continued the Daily Beast.

Schlapp was in Georgia for a Walker campaign event. The staffer, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said that Schlapp had "inappropriately and repeatedly" intruded his personal space at the bars. He said he was also keenly aware of his "power dynamic" with Schlapp, widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in national conservative politics.

The staffer said he met with Schlapp in a public space to discuss the younger man's career. "It was a public space, and I was thinking that he got the hint. I did not want to embarrass him," he said. "But it escalated." The staffer told the Daily Beast that "he would come forward with his real name if Schlapp denied his claims."

Schlapp did through his lawyer. In a statement to The Daily Beast, Schlapp attorney Charlie Spies called the allegations an "attack" and said Schlapp "denies any improper behavior."

"This appears to be now the twelfth Daily Beast piece with personal attacks on Matt Schlapp and his family. The attack is false and Mr. Schlapp denies any improper behavior. We are evaluating legal options for response," the statement said.

The escalation in Schlapp's behavior occurred on the ride back to the hotel. The staffer, in his late 30s, told the Daily Beast that Schlapp put his hand on his leg, then reached over and "fondled" his crotch at length while he was frozen in shock, calling it "scarring" and "humiliating." When they arrived at the hotel, the staffer said Schlapp invited him to his room. The staffer said he declined and left "as quickly as I could."

He informed the Walker campaign of his allegations the next day. "In interviews, the staffer was emphatic that throughout the ordeal he felt 'nothing but support' from Walker campaign officials, saying he never felt pressure and was given 'complete autonomy'over how to move forward. The options included legal and therapeutic support, as well as pressing charges."

The staffer was scheduled to drive Schlapp to another event the next day, which he agreed to in a short call, but "broke down" and made a number of tearful videos he shared with his wife and another close friend. He later shared the videos with the Daily Beast.

In one video, the staffer narrated the events "in regard to Matthew Schlapp, chairman of CPAC, who approximately two hours ago put his hands on me in a sustained and unsolicited and unwanted manner."

He continued: "Matt Schlapp of the CPAC grabbed my junk and pummeled it at length, and I'm sitting there thinking what the hell is going on, that this person is literally doing this to me," the staffer said in the video.
"From the bar to the Hilton Garden Inn, he has his hands on me. And I feel so fucking dirty. I feel so fucking dirty," he said.

"I'm supposed to pick this motherfucker up in the morning and just pretend like nothing happened. This is what I'm dealing with," the staffer continued. "This is what I got to do."

When Schlapp turned up the next morning, the staffer contacted the Walker campaign and was pulled from the driving assignment. The staffer sent Schlapp a text: "I did want to say 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," he texted, providing the name and phone number of the driver.

"Pls give me a call," Schlapp replied, followed by, "Thx." Schlapp then called him three times over the next 20 minutes, according to phone records reviewed by The Daily Beast.

When the staffer did not answer or return the calls, Schlapp sent another text, asking him to look "in your heart" and call back.

"If you could see it in your heart to call me at the end of day. I would appreciate it," Schlapp texted at 12:12 p.m. "If not I wish you luck on the campaign and hope you keep up the good work."

Schlapp never asked the staffer to describe what made him uncomfortable.

CPAC has long been a forum for speakers to openly express their homophobia. At a recent event in Texas, both Schlapp and Senator Ted Cruz mocked gender pronounts. "My pronouns are 'USA," Schlapp said, while Cruz said his pronouns are "Kiss my ass"), The Texas event also featured homophobic speech from Hungary's far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who drew applause after mentioning his country's constitution defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Schlapp also spoke out against the recently passed Respect for Marriage Act in a statement from CPAC that reads in part: "It is a trojan horse that will be used to decimate religious liberty. This legislation would force people of faith and religious-affiliated institutions to violate their sincerely-held beliefs."

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