Lincoln Project’s White Suprematist Stunt at GOP Rally Backfires, Ignites Backlash From Democrats
After VICE News identified a Democratic operative in a photo of what was alleged to be a group of 'white supremacists' dressed like those from the violent riots in Charlottesville in 2017, at a GOP rally supporting Virginia gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin, the anti-Trump PAC Lincoln Project acknowledged they were behind the stunt.
A stunt pulled by the Lincoln Project
, mainly run by Republican and ex-GOP staffers who oppose ex-president Donald Trump, appears to have failed to win the kudos it was aiming for, instead generating a Democratic backlash.
The event has been slammed as “distasteful and disgusting,” and calls have been made for “those involved” to apologise.
The political action committee (PAC) formed in late 2019 by a number of Republicans to prevent Donald Trump from winning reelection in 2020 has acknowledged it was behind the idea to have five people in khakis and carrying tiki torches pose as white supremacists at a campaign event for Glenn Youngkin on 29 October. The acknowledgement came after VICE News identified one of the people in a photo in front of Youngkin’s campaign bus as a Democratic operative.
The perceived idea was to reignite memories of the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent
in August 2017. The Republican nominee in the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election
is running against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the former governor attempting a comeback, in a hotly contested election slated for 2 November.
Terry McAuliffe’s campaign manager Chris Bolling denounced the half-baked stunt “in the strongest terms’.
A representative of the Virginia Democratic Party similarly took to Twitter to deny the state party’s slightest role in the bizarre event.
Sally Hudson, a Virginia state legislator, also condemned the stunt on Twitter, underscoring that “Charlottesville is not a prop.”
Democratic defence attorney and former prosecutor Ron Filipkowski insisted the stunt had backfired and hurt those it was ostensibly aiming to help.
Glenn Youngkin’s running mate, Winsome Sears, called the event “despicable.”
Community activist Molly Conger, known for documenting white supremacist activity in and around Charlottesville, slammed the timing of the stunt, as the trial of those implicated in the 2017 events began.
Christopher Cantwell and 19 other white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and their organisations, accused of conspiring
to incite racially motivated violence at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one person dead and dozens injured, are being sued in a civil case brought by nonprofit Integrity First for America. The suit is on behalf of nine witnesses to those events.
Edward Snowden also weighed in on the "false-flag" operation.
In its statement, Lincold Project said that the demonstration was “a 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’s unnamed statement vowed to continue to hold Glenn Youngkin “accountable.”
“If he will denounce Trump’s assertion that the Charlottesville rioters possessed ‘very fine’ qualities, we’ll withdraw the tiki torches. Until then, we’ll be back.”
The statement references then-president Donald Trump’s statement
pertaining to the weekend when neo-Nazi James Fields drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring dozens. Trump had "condemned hatred, bigotry, and violence ", at the time, but also referred to "very fine people on both sides". Critics saw these remarks as sympathetic to white supremacists.
Ryan Wiggins, communications director for the Lincoln Project acknowledged her role in the event.
“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 right-wing extremists and in calling for Glenn Youngkin to denounce Trump’s ‘very fine people,’” Windsor said in a statement to VICE News.