Corey Stewart, the Republican nominee challenging Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in Virginia this fall, sent out a fundraising email blaming the violence at last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville on leftist counter-protesters — a gross misrepresentation of the events that day.
“We need to remember, on the anniversary of the Democrats’ protest debacle in Charlottesville,” Stewart said in the new email. “All of the violence and destruction was perpetrated by Antifa terrorists and other senseless, hateful anarchists like them.”
In new campaign fundraising email, @CoreyStewartVA says “all the violence” in Charlottesville was perpetrated by the left. Insane and disgusting.
Tell that to Heather Heyer’s family. pic.twitter.com/uvKHBZiEPu
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) August 16, 2018
Stewart, best known for his love of the Confederacy and steady flow of racist remarks, totally skews the reality of what happened that day. The violence was not perpetrated by “Antifa terrorists” but by far-right extremists like James Alex Fields Jr., who drove a car into a crowd of leftist counter-protesters, injuring dozens and killing Heather Heyer.
Fields is currently facing first-degree murder charges in Virginia, and has also been indicted on dozens of other federal hate crimes charges. The day of the rally, Fields was pictured with members of Vanguard America, a fascist group — Vanguard America has consistently denied that Fields was ever a member. This May, a white supremacist was also found guilty of viciously beating a black man in a parking garage during the Unite the Right rally.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be seen as a surprise that Stewart wants to gaslight his supporters about Charlottesville in order to raise money, given that he’d previously supported Unite the Right’s main organizer, Jason Kessler. (Last Sunday, Kessler led a pathetic anniversary rally in Washington, D.C.)
In February 2017, a few months prior to the events in Charlottesville, Stewart was present at a United & Security for America event, a group organized by Kessler which says its mission is “defending Western Civilization and its history, culture and peoples while utterly dismantling Cultural Marxism.”
Stewart has embraced a number of other controversial, far-right stances, and has a significant history of racist remarks. Earlier this month, he attacked Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed (D) as an “ISIS commie.” Stewart’s campaign then tried to explain away the remark by saying that one of his “vendors” wrote the tweet, not him.
“One of my vendors put out a tweet last night that attempted to link a Michigan gubernatorial candidate to ISIS, because he apparently received support from purported extremists,” the statement said. “I don’t believe in guilt by association. I have been the target of very similar smears, and I don’t believe in using such tactics against others.”
Stewart also bragged about how he was “Trump before Trump was Trump,” boasted of his “Southern Heritage” when he’s actually from Minnesota, endorsed noted Wisconsin anti-Semite Paul Nehlen, and said he is proud of the Confederate flag, claiming it doesn’t represent racism. Stewart’s catalog of racist zingers grew this week after CNN uncovered a 2017 conversation with supporters in which Stewart said NFL players are “thugs” who have children “all over the place.”