Democrats are denying any involvement in what appears to be an attempted trolling attempt by individuals in Charlottesville who stood with tiki torches next to a Glenn Youngkin campaign bus. The protesters resembled the white supremacists that marched through Charlottesville in 2017 chanting “Jews will not replace us,” on the night before the deadly rally where Heather Heyer was killed by a white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd. Two Virginia State Police officers also died that day while monitoring the events from their helicopter.
The Lincoln Project claimed credit for the stunt at 5:16 p.m. The Lincoln Project is a group of former and current Republicans that opposed Donald Trump.
“Today’s demonstration was our way of reminding Virginians what happened in Charlottesville four years ago, the Republican Party’s embrace of those values, and Glenn Youngkin’s failure to condemn it,” The Lincoln Project said in their statement.
Youngkin, the Republican nominee for governor, accused his opponent Terry McAuliffe of sending the individuals to stand next to his bus Friday. “I think they work for Terry McAuliffe, and I’m sure he sent them,” Youngkin said in a statement to NBC29. “They’ll do anything to win, and he’s doing anything to win, and so he’s paying people to show up and act silly at our rallies.”
Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Andrew Whitely issued a statement on social media Friday afternoon denying any involvement. “The Democratic Party of Virginia, along with its coordinated partners and its affiliates, did not have any role today in the events that happened outside of the Youngkin campaign bus stop today,” Whitley said in the statement. “For anyone to accuse our staff to have a role in this event is shameful and wrong.”
Terry McAuliffe’s campaign manager commented on the incident in a tweet. “What happened today in Charlottesville is disgusting and distasteful and the McAuliffe campaign condemns it in the strongest terms. Those involved should immediately apologize,” said Chris Bolling, McAuliffe’s campaign manager.
The Lincoln Project did not apologize for invoking traumatic memories for many people in Virginia. Instead, they dug in on their stunt. “We will continue to hold Glenn Youngkin accountable. If he will denounce Trump’s assertion that the Charlottesville rioters possessed ‘very fine’ qualities, we’ll withdraw the tiki torches. Until then, we’ll be back.”
The campaign manager for McAuliffe’s campaign denounced the act in a tweet. “What happened today in Charlottesville is disgusting and distasteful and the McAuliffe campaign condemns it in the strongest terms. Those involved should immediately apologize.”
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