Members of the progressive group Lincoln Project claimed responsibility for participating as infiltrators disguised as white supremacists in an event organized by the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, to link the candidate with extremist sectors.
Images quickly distributed show a group of five people in front of Youngkin’s campaign bus during an event in Charlottesville, dressed in white with typical attire used by white supremacists and carrying tiki torches.
“We’re for Glenn,” members of the group said, according to Elizabeth Holmes, an NBC 29 reporter who covered the event.
Democrats and the campaign team of McAuliffe, Youngkin’s opposing candidate, were quick to go public with those images and show their outrage over what happened while pretending to associate the Republican candidate’s supporters with the far-right sectors.
But Youngkin himself took it upon himself to deny the situation and even suggested that his Democratic opponent was behind the demonstration when in statements to NBC 29 he said:
“I think they work for Terry McAuliffe, and I’m sure he sent them,” adding that “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.”
Following Youngkin’s statements, McAuliffe spokesman Renzo Olivari posted on Twitter assuring that it was not the Democratic campaign that set up the staging. However, he noted, “There is one candidate in this race who has embraced white nationalists, and his name is Glenn Youngkin.”
The Lincoln Project finally took responsibility for the outrageous scene in a statement Friday night.
“Today’s demonstration was our way of reminding Virginia voters of 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 event they reference was a rally organized by Charlottesville’s ‘Unite the Right’ in 2017, at which white supremacists paraded with tiki torches while wearing white costumes. During that event, one counter-protester and two police officers were killed.
It should be noted that yesterday’s Republican event had nothing to do with that 2017 episode.
Lauren Windsor, a left-wing activist, known for recording conservatives with hidden cameras, also admitted to participating in the hoax.
“In my capacity as a communications consultant, I worked with @ProjectLincoln to coordinate today’s Youngkin action in Charlottesville,” her message reads.
The Project Lincoln group has been popularized over the past year by a series of scandals, including a serious corruption case, when it was revealed in early 2021 the organization siphoned off more than $11 million to enrich its leaders and founders.
Another scandal involving the same organization came to light when its co-founder, John Weaver, was accused by a large number of young men of “insinuating” himself into having sexual relations with them.