The Twitter account of Jason Kessler, the alt-right activist and organizer of last weekend’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, tweeted that the woman who died protesting his event “was a fat, disgusting Communist” and that her death was “payback time” — then walked back the remark and blamed it on drugs and alcohol.
“Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million,” his account tweeted Friday. “Looks like it was payback time.”
The tweet included a link to a now-infamous article published on The Daily Stormer white supremacist website last weekend hours after Heyer, 33, died while protesting Mr. Kessler’s “Unite the Right” rally.
The tweet disappeared from Mr. Kessler’s Twitter account Saturday morning and in its place emerged an explanation.
“I repudiate the heinous tweet that was sent from my account last night. I’ve been under a crushing amount of stress & death threats,” the account tweeted.
“I’m taking ambien, xanax and I had been drinking last night. I sometimes wake up having done strange things I don’t remember,” he added.
A hacker associated with The Daily Stormer claimed Saturday to have posted the tweet after compromising Mr. Kessler’s Twitter account, but the claim could not immediately be verified.
Mr. Kessler did not respond to multiple requests for comment Saturday morning, and his entire Twitter account has since gone offline.
Twitter does “not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons,” a company spokesperson told The Washington Times.
Heyer was killed last weekend when a man identified as an “Unite the Right” participant drove his automobile into a crowd of counterprotesters who had gathered to rally against Mr. Kessler’s event.