Youngkin tweets ‘regret’ for campaign’s criticism of high school student

When VPM issued a correction, Lynne likewise tweeted an update.

Youngkin’s campaign responded to the initial post by tweeting out a photo of Lynne — who identifies himself in his Twitter bio as a high school senior — posing with former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. “Here’s a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook,” the account tweeted along with a racist photo from Northam’s medical school yearbook of two people — one wearing blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes. Northam has denied that he is either of the people in the photo but conceded in 2019 that he once wore blackface in 1984 at a different event.

The tweet was deleted Sunday morning, but no statement came from the Youngkin administration until Monday morning.

Virginia Democrats were quick to criticize the governor. “@GovernorVA disappointed you would use your official twitter account to bully a teen for nothing more than retweeting an article about you,” state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) tweeted Saturday. “I’ve learned you need a thick skin in this biz, and you need to learn that too. You owe @ethanclynne an apology.”

Lynne has emerged as a frequent critic of the Youngkin administration since the governor’s inauguration last month, and his tweets are frequently shared by prominent Virginia Democrats. Though Youngkin responded to the situation Monday, Lynne said the governor’s statement was not an apology.

“While he acknowledged the situation, Governor Youngkin did not apologize and did not condemn what happened over the weekend,” Lynne tweeted Monday. “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.”