UPDATE: (1/22) New York Times writer Will Wilkinson has been fired from his think tank job.
Wednesday evening, following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, a New York Times contributing writer said if Biden really wanted unity, he would “lynch Mike Pence.”
Will Wilkinson wrote on Twitter, “Aha! Biden proposes policies I dislike, HIS CALL FOR UNITY IS A LIE!!! is all the forlorn conservative mind can seem to muster. Sad.”
“If Biden really wanted unity, he’d lynch Mike Pence,” he wrote in a separate tweet.
The tweets have since been deleted and Wilkinson issued an apology Thursday.
“Last night I made an error of judgment and tweeted this. It was sharp sarcasm, but looked like a call for violence. That’s always wrong, even as a joke. It was especially wrong at a moment when unity and peace are so critical. I’m deeply sorry and vow not to repeat the mistake,” Wilkinson wrote on Twitter.
He continued, saying he would like to explain his tweets, so his “intentions are clear.”
In a five-tweet thread, Wilkinson defended his actions, saying his tweets were “meant as a tart way to drive home the exasperating bad faith of those whose own divisive rhetoric and repetition of lies about election fraud facilitated the mob attack on the Capitol, where pro-Trump rioters built a noose and called for Pence’s head.”
He continued, “It’s hard to imagine anything more offensively divisive than that. Anyone who contributed to the toxic partisan animosity that led to this episode of violent sedition has no standing to suggest that we cannot arrive at unity except on their terms.”
“If right-wing demands led to calls to kill the vice president, but there can be no national unification except on right-wing terms, that suggests the COMPLETELY ABSURD conclusion that if Biden really took unity seriously, he’d endorse the mob violence of January 6.”
Wilkinson has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration and the GOP. In an opinion article published last month by Gulf News, Wilkinson wrote, “Under President Joe Biden, the White House will no longer generate a cacophony of incompetence.”
“The GOP is ever more invested in a set of interlocking resentments – of liberal elites, of Black Americans, of feminism and nontraditional sexual identities, of immigrants, of rich cities, of poor cities, of all the emerging and dynamic quarters of the U.S. economy. Other than its bedrock commitment to upward redistribution of national wealth, the party’s compact with its voters entails little more than punishing weaker enemies or owning empowered libs,” he continued.
“Biden will be working to strengthen democratic values in the world, and in a nation where the opposition party increasingly views democracy as an impediment to its quest for power. He will face a domestic opposition committed to undermining not only his policies, but also their empirical foundation.”
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