Former RNC chairman Michael Steele joins Lincoln Project, anti-Trump group working to elect Joe Biden

WASHINGTON — Former Republican Party chairman Michael Steele became the latest anti-Trump Republican to join the Lincoln Project, a political action committee led by Republicans working to defeat President Donald Trump and elect Democrat Joe Biden.

Coinciding with the start of the Republican National Convention, the Lincoln Project announced the addition of Steele, who served as RNC chairman from 2009 to 2011, as a new senior advisor Monday.

"The chair behind the Resolute Desk has always been bigger than any political party," Steele, a regular contributor on MSNBC and a Trump critic, said in a statement. "Sadly, we have witnessed its occupant devolve into preying upon Digital fears and resentments with narcissism that nurtures only chaos and confusion."

More: George Conway, other conservatives, launch Lincoln Project super PAC to 'defeat Trump'

He added: "Leadership is needed now more than ever and I am proudly committed to resetting the course of our nation, standing once again for the future of my Party; and working with The Lincoln Project to help restore the purpose for sitting in that chair."

Steele's addition comes on the same day the Biden campaign announced the endorsements of 27 former GOP members of Congress, including former Arizona U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, in support of Biden.

Last week's Democratic National Convention included several Republicans who back the former vice president including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Rep. Susan Molinari, R-N.Y., former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, onetime gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain.

More: 'Go Joe': 27 Republican former members of Congress say they'll back Biden over Trump

Since launching in December, the Lincoln Project has produced some of the harshest critiques of the Trump administration, particularly over the president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in online videos that have gone viral and television commercials.

Lincoln Project founders include conservative attorney George Conway; former adviser to Sen. John McCain Steve Schmidt; former Kasich adviser John Weaver; former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn; and conservative pundit Rick Wilson.

Conway and his wife Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump advisor who works in the White House, announced Sunday they would be stepping away from their political roles to focus on their children. The Conways’ 15-year-old daughter, Claudia, has described an increasingly volatile situation at home on her public social media channels, tweeting Saturday that she is seeking legal emancipation from her parents.

More: Kellyanne Conway leaving White House to focus on family; George Conway stepping away from Lincoln Project

Before becoming the first African American RNC chairman, Steele served as lieutenant governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2017. Steele unsuccessfully ran for U.S. senator in Maryland as a Republican in 2006. Today he's a political strategist and frequent guest on MSNBC.

"I believe, like the majority of patriots, the office of the Presidency embodies who we are as Americans," Steele said. "It represents the heart of our compassion, the dreams of those who built this country both freed and enslaved, the eyes of those today that see both hope and despair, and the wisdom of each of us to make a meaningful difference."

Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

Contributing: Jeanine Santucci

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lincoln Project: Michael Steele, former head of RNC, joins anti-Trump group