RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Monday that he regrets what he called an “unauthorized” tweet sent from his campaign account over the weekend that attacked a high school student and invoked a scandal previous Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam faced. “On Saturday night, an unauthorized tweet came from a campaign account. I regret that this happened and it 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 enslaved people who labored in 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 in 2019. “Here’s a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook,” the campaign tweeted. The post, which was later deleted, drew widespread attention online and condemnation from Democrats.
A spokesperson for Youngkin didn’t respond to questions from news outlets over the weekend. When Youngkin weighed in Monday morning through his governor’s office account, he also said: “We must continue to work to bring Virginians together. There is so much more that unites us than divides us.” Lynne tweeted that Youngkin, in his “regret” tweet, didn’t apologize or condemn what happened. “I still hope he does, and that he will take time to recognize the culture of toxicity he has created within his first month of office,” he tweeted. Lynne and his mother were scheduled to hold a news conference Monday afternoon