Friends of Abe, a private group of Hollywood conservatives, is re-forming after disbanding about one year ago. The organization announced on Facebook this month that “FOA is back!”
A group member who spoke on the condition of anonymity says it was dissolved in April 2016 by founder Gary Sinise amid infighting about Republican candidates for president and other issues. Although Sinise controlled the organization's nonprofit paperwork, members decided to gather without his blessing, according to the source. The actor did not respond to our request for comment.
The secretive group made headlines when we first reported in July 2015 that then–presidential candidate Donald Trump was coming to speak to FOA in Brentwood following controversial remarks he made about Mexican immigrants.
The organization, which claimed Jon Voight, Clint Eastwood and Kelsey Grammer as high-profile members, also associated with Trump confidant Steve Bannon, a onetime Hollywood producer, our source said. Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart was a co-leader of the FOA before his death in 2012, he said.
On March 2, the FOA's Facebook page announced it was accepting new members, so long as there was evidence of their conservatism and record of their work in Hollywood.
“To join FOA, one must have provable bona fides as a conservative and as a member of the entertainment industry,” the post reads. “For the latter, an IMDb page, or any other independent link confirming your role in 'the biz,' is necessary. For the former, you need to either be publicly known as a conservative, or have someone already in FOA who can vouch for your political views.”
Members could keep their identities anonymous and join at no charge, according to the post. A subsequent Facebook notice announced the launch of monthly meetings, starting last night.
Those reorganizing under the FOA banner hoped to keep Sinise away from the group, our source said.