Jason Kessler, the man behind the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw one person die and nearly two dozen others get injured after demonstrators on opposing sides clashed, is now backpedaling after posting a “heinous” tweet insulting the woman who died that day.
“Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist,” Kessler wrote in the tweet, which was posted Friday; his account has since been deleted. “Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.”
Kessler also included a link to the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, which was denounced by and removed from GoDaddy and Google’s domain hosting services before resurfacing with a new Russian domain.
The tweet was so poorly received that even Richard Spencer, self-avowed leader of the alt-right and a notorious white nationalist, distanced himself from Kessler, along with other far-right figures.
“I will no longer associate w/ Jason Kessler; no one should,” Spencer wrote on Twitter. “Heyer’s death was deeply saddening. ‘Payback’ is a morally reprehensible idea.”
Conservative Trump supporter Tim Gionet, better known as Baked Alaska to his 186,000 Twitter followers, also followed suit.
“This is terribly wrong and vile. We should not rejoice at the people who died in Charlottesville just because we disagree with them,” he wrote. “There is no place on the right for people who are advocating violence & spewing actual racial hatred. This is not who we are.”
On Saturday, Kessler walked back his remarks.
“I repudiate the heinous tweet that was sent from my account last night,” he wrote before the account was removed altogether. “I have been under a crushing amount of stress & death threats. I’m taking ambien, Xanax and I had been drinking last night. I sometimes wake up having done strange things I don’t remember.”
Heyer, 32, was mowed down by a car driven by alleged Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr. as she marched in counter-protest against the far-right groups who attended the “Unite the Right” rally.