Youngkin campaign criticized for Twitter spat with teen

“Here’s a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook,” Team Youngkin tweeted shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, pairing the October photo with a racist picture from Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook that surfaced in 2019.

Democrats responded immediately, calling on Youngkin to apologize to Lynne. The attack on Northam drew less notice, since Northam is a public figure and adult, although it ran counter to Youngkin’s public expressions of thanks toward the Democrat for an “incredibly cooperative” transition.

Team Youngkin removed the tweet late Sunday morning but offered no apology.

Lynne, in an interview with the Post on Sunday, said “A governor’s campaign account has attacked a minor — to me that was a new low.” He said the campaign’s tweet was deleted after more than 12 hours, adding, “I received no apology, no communication, nothing.”

Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter did not respond to questions from the Post about the tweet. Matt Wolking, a Youngkin campaign spokesman who continues to work for the governor as a strategist at Axiom Strategies, responded to questions sent to Porter but didn’t say who wrote the tweet.

Wolking said Team Youngkin decided to remove the message after belatedly learning that Lynne — identified on Twitter as “Virginian. HS Senior. Democrat.” — was a minor. Wolking called Lynne a “Democrat Party official” and suggested that Democrats had made Lynne a fair target by previously promoting him on Twitter.