The Virginia Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin distanced himself from a right-wing rally in his support that took place on Wednesday.
The “Take Back Virginia Rally” attendees pledged allegiance to a flag that organizers said was at the Capitol riot on January 6.
Youngkin said he hadn’t known about the rally in Richmond.
“I wasn’t involved, so I don’t know. But if that was the case, then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag,” Youngkin said. “And by the way, I’ve been so clear there is no place for violence — none, none — in America today. We have our rights to assemble and protest protected … but there is no room for violence.”
Youngkin in a later statement said that it was “weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to January 6” and said the violence during the pro-Trump riot was “sickening and wrong.”
Trump has endorsed Youngkin, and spoke by phone at the Richmond rally, calling Youngkin a “great gentleman” and talking about the Big Lie. Steve Bannon was also in attendance. Youngkin was not clear on Thursday whether he wanted Trump to campaign for him.
Youngkin is looking to be the first Republican to win in Virginia since 2009.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former Virginia governor, and fellow Democrats are saying that only a full rejection of Donald Trump is acceptable.