The Sacramento Bee has apologized for an opinion piece in which writer Hannah Holzer claimed that Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk "called for the lynching of trans people," following Antifa violence at Tuesday evening’s Live Free Tour stop at University of California Davis.
"An earlier version of this column included a statement that Charlie Kirk had 'called for the lynching of trans people.' The basis for this accusation is a video clip in which Kirk was upset that a trans woman had won an NCAA swimming championship," an editor’s note from Wednesday morning read.
"In the clip, Kirk said that instead of letting the woman compete, 'Someone should have took (sic) care of it the way we used to take care of things in the 1950s and 60s.' Some trans advocates on social media extrapolated from Kirk’s comments that he called for trans people to be lynched - an accusation The Bee repeated," the note continued.
"But a review of the video shows that Kirk never advocated for trans people to be lynched. In fact, he strongly denies the accusation. These notes have been added to the column. The Bee regrets its comments and we apologize for any misunderstanding this earlier version may have caused," the note concluded.
The paragraph in question originally stated, "Among his most atrocious comments, Kirk suggested transgender people, who he has referred to as 'garbage,' 'ought to be lynched,'" citing a tweet from transgender reporter and activist Erin Reed.
The paragraph now states, "In February, Kirk decried the participation of trans athletes in NCAA college athletics. He particularly criticized the inclusion of swimmer Lia Thomas, who became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship in March of 2022."
The redaction came after Kirk threatened legal action against the outlet, writing on Twitter, "This is defamation and libel. We will sue unless it is corrected. Left-wing rags like the SacBee are allowed to platform lies against conservatives and get away with it. Time for lawfare."
On Tuesday evening, Kirk revealed that the original version of the column was being pulled and a revised version published that removed references to "Fascist" and "Lynching."
Sacramento Bee reporter Rosalio Ahymada was seen still repeating the claims of lynching in tweets posted of the Antifa violence, but that tweet was later deleted.
At Tuesday evening’s stop of Turning Point USA’s Live Free Tour, Antifa members dressed in black smashed windows and doors and vandalized the campus. They also blocked attendees from entering the university for the event.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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