The Lincoln Project, a liberal activist organization of former Republicans, admitted that they had orchestrated a bizarre campaign stunt involving a race hoax against the Republican candidate in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
On Friday liberal online influencers and local news outlets promoted a photograph of purported supporters of Glenn Youngkin with white supremacist garb and paraphernalia.
Online sleuths, however, quickly appeared to identify the participants as liberal activists through comparison of the photograph and staffers’ online profiles.
Soon after, the Lincoln Project released a statement taking responsibility for the stunt.
“Today’s demonstration was our way of reminding Virginians what happened in Charlottesville four years ago,” read the statement, referring to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The statement said the group intends on continuing their activism on social media and at Youngkin’s rallies.
The campaign for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe released a statement condemning the race hoax perpetrated against Youngkin.
“What happened today is disgusting and distasteful and we condemn it in the strongest terms. Those involved should immediately apologize,” said Chris Bolling, the campaign manager for Terry for Virginia, in a statement to Vice News.
A liberal activist who orchestrates undercover sting operations took credit for the scheme.
“In my capacity as a communications consultant, I worked with the Lincoln Project to coordinate this action. I join them in the fight to defend our democracy from rightwing extremists,” said Lauren Windsor in part on Twitter.
The Lincoln Project was organized to combat the influence of former President Donald Trump in the Republican party. The group was rocked by sexual harassment accusations against one of the co-founders, John Weaver, by young men who said he promised to help their political careers. Weaver admitted to making inappropriate comments and left the organization. The Lincoln Project has recently been dedicated to electing and supporting liberal democrats.
The attempt to smear Youngkin might be a desperate attempt to push McAuliffe across the finish line after recent polling showed the Republican gaining on the former governor.
Here’s more about the pivotal governor’s race:
Virginia governor’s race virtually tied as campaign enters final week