Corey Stewart, the Republican Senate nominee in Virginia who has a long history of racism, deleted a tweet on Saturday that criticized Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), his opponent, for denouncing Saudi Arabia over the apparent execution of Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi.
The Contemptor’s Justin Baragona grabbed a screenshot of Stewart’s short-lived tweet before it was deleted.
I wonder why Corey Stewart deleted this tweet pic.twitter.com/qk0tidWXrJ
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 20, 2018
Conservative columnist Bill Kristol called Stewart’s tweet “beyond contemptible.”
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Stewart has been part of the Republican effort to defend President Donald Trump by smearing Khashoggi. The Virginia Republican said “Khashoggi was not a good guy himself” in a radio interview on Thursday.
During a Friday appearance on CNN, Stewart said he was “not the right guy” to talk about Khashoggi moments after claiming the Saudi national and Washington Post contributor was “a mystery man.”
As the Saudis confirm the death of Jamal Khashoggi, some conservatives have been peddling smears against the journalist in an effort to cushion Pres. Trump from blowback over his handling of the situation. Republican Corey Stewart joins @AndersonCooper. https://t.co/v9MfydfKXa pic.twitter.com/qQkZhXN392
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 20, 2018
Stewart deleted a tweet in August that called Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed, a son of Egyptian immigrants and Rhodes scholar, a “far left ISIS commie.” Stewart claimed that tweet “was posted by a vendor that his campaign contracted to help build support through social media.”
Later that month, Stewart tweeted out an obviously fake image of Kaine to allege the Virginia Democrat “worked in Honduras to promote his radical Socialist ideology.” That tweet has not been deleted.
The Communist Democrat Party…
Virginia and our Nation deserve better
Please support me on Nov 6 & let’s stop the violence of the Left
— Corey Stewart (@CoreyStewartVA) August 16, 2018
Saturday’s tweet from Stewart, who has been praised by white nationalists for his defense of Confederate statues even though he is from Minnesota, resembled the citizenship dogwhistle that Trump has used to downplay Khashoggi’s death.
Trump endorsed Stewart as having “a major chance of winning” in a June tweet, but the Republican has trailed Kaine by an average of nearly 20 percentage points in recent polls. Stewart lost Virginia elections for lieutenant governor in 2013 and governor in 2017.