Saturday, April 20

Youngkin says he’s sorry for his campaign’s tweet attacking a teen


Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin says he regrets what he calls an “unauthorized” tweet sent from his campaign account over the weekend.

“On Saturday night, an unauthorized tweet came from a campaign account. I’m sorry this happened and shouldn’t have,” Youngkin tweeted Monday. “I have addressed it with my team.”

Saturday’s tweet was directed at Ethan Lynne, a 17-year-old student involved in Democratic politics. Lynne tweeted about recent news articles that raised questions about the Youngkin administration’s plans for an initiative highlighting the history of the enslaved people who worked on the Executive Mansion.

“Team Youngkin,” the governor’s official campaign account, responded by posting a photo of Lynne with Gov. Ralph Northam, along with a racist photo that appeared in Northam’s medical school yearbook and surfaced on Monday. 2019.

“Here is a photo of Ethan with a man who had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook,” the campaign tweeted.

The post, which was later removed, drew widespread online attention and condemnation from Democrats.

A spokesman for Youngkin did not respond to questions from the media over the weekend.

When Youngkin weighed in Monday morning via his governor’s office account, he also said, “We must continue to work to bring Virginians together. There is much more that unites us than divides us.”

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Lynne tweeted that Youngkin, in his “regret” tweet, did not apologize or condemn what happened.

“I still hope he does, and that he takes some time to acknowledge the culture of toxicity he has created in his first month on the job,” he tweeted.

Lynne and her mother had a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon.

The rhetoric of the campaign narrative was not in line with Youngkin’s promises to serve as a unifier and bridge the partisan divide. It also didn’t match his previous warm public comments about Northam, who, like all Virginia governors, limited himself to a single term before leaving office in January.

Matt Wolking, a consultant at the firm that ran Youngkin’s campaign, told news outlets over the weekend that the tweet was removed after it became clear Lynne was underage. He did not say who wrote the tweet.

The exchange came after Lynne, who has nearly 40,000 followers, tweeted about reports from a Richmond radio station about the Executive Mansion project. An archaeologist with the project, which aims to tell the stories of enslaved workers, told VPM last week that he believes an educational space in the mansion was converted into a family room. A correction was later issued after the governor’s press secretary said that the claim was incorrect and that the Youngkin administration had not moved anything in space.


abcnews.go.com

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