Virginia governor 'regrets' his campaign's tweet that attacked teenager

Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Posted at 11:27 AM, Feb 07, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. — Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin says he regrets what he's calling an "unauthorized" tweet sent from his campaign account over the weekend.

The since-deleted tweet attacked a high school student and invoked a scandal previous Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam faced.

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

Youngkin's official campaign Twitter account, "Team Youngkin," responded to Lynne's tweets about the news story. The tweet showed a picture of Lynne standing next to Northam. It was captioned, "here's a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook."

When Northam was serving as Virginia's governor, two photos that were published in his 1984 med school yearbook resurfaced. One showed Northam in a KKK outfit; the other showed him in blackface. Northam later apologized for the photographs.

The post by Team Youngkin was later deleted. Matt Wolking, a Youngkin campaign spokesman, told Politico that the campaign deleted the post after learning that Lynne was a minor. Lynne's Twitter bio identifies him as a high school student.

The campaign and the governor's office also initially did not issue an apology, drawing further criticism from Democrats.

Youngkin tweeted Monday from his official governor's office account that he regretted what happened and had addressed it with his team.

"On Saturday night, an unauthorized tweet came from a campaign account. I regret that this happened and it shouldn't have. I have addressed it with my team. We must continue to work to bring Virginians together. There is so much more that unites us than divides us," he tweeted.