17-Year-Old Speaks Out After Gov. Glenn Youngkin's Team Jabs at Him in Tweet

"I have addressed it with my team. We must continue to work to bring Virginians together. There is so much more that unites us than divides us," Youngkin said after the since-deleted social media post

Glenn Youngkin
Glenn Youngkin. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A 17-year-old from Virginia is speaking out after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's team criticized him on Twitter, later apologizing for what they said was an inadvertent post about a minor.

The controversy was ignited when teenager Ethan Lynne shared a disputed story from a local NPR affiliate about a historian who had resigned after the Youngkins allegedly converted her teaching classroom into a family room.

The story was later corrected and further clarified online — which Lynne noted in a later tweet — but the Youngkin campaign still responded via their own post on Saturday, sharing a photo of the teen with former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who in 2019 was caught in a racist photo scandal that nearly ended his political career.

"Here's a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook," the "Team Youngkin's official campaign Twitter account wrote on Sunday. (Northam, who is pictured with Lynne, has said that the person shown in a photo from his old medical school yearbook is not him).

The tweet has since been deleted but spawned backlash over Lynne's age.

"An official account of @GovernorVA is attacking a child. A grown man bullying a kid. I don't even think Trump did that," Virginia Del. Mike Mullin, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter.

Democratic state Sen. Louise Lucas also expressed disappointment, writing, "Excuse me, did this come from an official account of the Governor of Virginia?!?! Every reporter in the state needs to get on this immediately. The Governor is attacking a high school student. Governor- this is a disgrace and you owe Ethan a public apology immediately."

Youngkin responded to the exchange on Monday, saying that the tweet attacking Lynn was "unauthorized" and that he had addressed it with his campaign staffers.

"On Saturday night, an unauthorized tweet came from a campaign account. I regret that this happened and it shouldn't have," Youngkin wrote on his personal Twitter account. "I have addressed it with my team. We must continue to work to bring Virginians together. There is so much more that unites us than divides us."

Lynne, meanwhile, wrote on Monday that he had received no communication from Youngkin's office.

"Last night, the Governor's official campaign account attacked me, a high-school senior and 17-year-old on Twitter," he wrote. "I want to thank everyone for all the calls/texts of support. They've deleted it, but I have received no communication from the Governor's office."

Lynne continued: "In school, we are taught how to spot bullying, and their tweet last night, perfectly fit that description. It is disgusting, disturbing, and unbecoming of the Commonwealth to see the Governor and his office stoop this low, especially on a public platform."

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