Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe denounced the Lincoln Project’s Friday morning tiki torch stunt designed to falsely link Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin to white nationalism.
“What happened today is disgusting and distasteful and we condemn it in the strongest terms. Those involved should immediately apologize,” McAuliffe campaign manager Chris Bolling said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Lincoln Project, a pro-Democratic group, took responsibility for the five individuals who were pictured by NBC29 reporter Elizabeth Holmes Friday morning outside a Youngkin campaign bus proclaiming their support for the Republican candidate while holding tiki torches and wearing khakis, white button-up shirts and baseball caps.
One of the individuals pictured was black. The individuals’ outfits appear to resemble what white supremacists wore during the deadly 2018 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
Multiple Democratic operatives, including McAuliffe spokeswoman Christina Freundlich, used the images to allege Youngkin’s supporters were white nationalists.
The Lincoln Project issued a statement Friday afternoon taking responsibility for the stunt.
“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 group said.
The Lincoln Project admitted its involvement in organizing the stunt after a Vice News reporter identified one of the individuals pictured holding a tiki torch as a low-level Democratic operative that works for the liberal undercover news show, The Undercurrent, The Free Press reported.
The Undercurrent Executive Director Lauren Windsor disclosed on Twitter she coordinated the Friday morning stunt with the Lincoln Project in her “capacity as a communications consultant.”
Youngkin campaign spokesman called the McAuliffe campaign the “dirtiest, nastiest, most dishonest campaign in Virginia history” Friday morning shortly after the images of the tiki torch stunt surfaced.
McAuliffe spokesperson Renzo Olivari told Fox News on Friday hours before the Lincoln Project took responsibility for the stunt that nobody affiliated with the campaign had any involvement.
“There is one candidate in this race who has embraced white nationalists — and his name is Glenn Youngkin,” Olivari said.
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