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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin says he regrets that his campaign attacked a teenager on Twitter

Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

  • Glenn Youngkin said his campaign posted an “unauthorized” tweet when it attacked a teenager over the weekend.
  • The Virginia governor says he “regrets that this happened.”
  • Ethan Lynee, the teenager in question, responded by pointing out that the governor has not issued an explicit apology.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin expressed regret on Monday that his campaign attacked a teenager on Twitter over the weekend amid a torrent of criticism surrounding the incident.

“I regret that this happened and it shouldn’t have. I have addressed it with my team,” Youngkin wrote on his personal Twitter account, calling the message “an unauthorized tweet.”

Youngkin’s campaign attacked Ethan Lynee, a 17-year-old high school student and Democratic campaign volunteer, after Lynee quote-tweeted a local news report that suggested Youngkin’s family was reducing the scope of an educational program at the Virginia governor’s mansion that highlights the history of enslaved people.

“Here’s a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook,” Youngkin’s official campaign account tweeted, The Washington Post reports. The campaign’s message included a photo of Lynee with former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. In 2019, Northam admitted to appearing in a racist college yearbook photo where one person wears blackface and the other is dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member. The Democrat, who was term-limited out of his post, now claims that he is neither of those people.

Richmond public radio station VPM later corrected their report that an educational space had been turned into a family room by Youngkin’s staff.

Youngkin’s campaign account deleted the tweet on Sunday morning, hours after it had been posted. But neither Youngkin’s campaign nor his gubernatorial office apologized to Lynee, The Post reported. Youngkin shocked political pundits with his upset win last November, besting former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and ushering in a Republican wave in Richmond.

Lynee pointed out on Monday that Youngkin’s statement still stops short of an explicit apology.

“Governor Youngkin did not apologize and did not condemn what happened over the weekend. 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,” Lynee wrote on Twitter.

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