A new adviser for presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has apologized for old tweets criticizing former first lady Michelle Obama. 

Influential civil rights activist Phillip Agnew was hired by the Sanders campaign on Saturday as the senator tries to shore up support within the Black community in key states like Michigan and Florida, Newsweek reports. According to a press release from the Sanders campaign, Agnew is well known for his work as a youth organizer and leader of the Dream Defenders, a group founded after the death of Trayvon Martin.

But hours after the announcement was made, Agnew was forced to apologize for a number of tweets, including multiple criticizing how Obama looks. 

"Random thought while standing in Gas Station: Michelle Obama is an odd looking woman… I'd call her ugly but I don't want the backlash…," he wrote back in 2009.

"Michelle Obama is just not pretty…I've tried to look at her from every angle possible," he tweeted.

In his statement, Agnew apologized for his words and said, "I am not my tweets from 2009."

"I am writing to own that in 2009, when I was 23, I tweeted stupid comments about Michelle Obama. I am writing because I was wrong and I am writing to be accountable. I am sorry for the remarks that I made. I typed them as a young, immature, and insecure boy who thought he was forever invisible and 'invincible.' My comments were shallow, careless, sexist and cruel," Agnew wrote.

"As a young community organizer, I have spent hours, days, months and years doing, thinking and being better, privately and publicly. I've matured, been politicized, and continuously been pushed and challenged by my fellow organizers to change and grow into my values," he added.

Agnew profusely apologized throughout the statement, saying he is still a work in progress and that part of his justice work has been "ongoing critical self-reflection about the ways I have been part of or perpetuated problematic expressions of masculinity."

He also mentioned that Black men and boys are steeped in sexism and racism toward Black women and girls, particularly those with dark skin. 

"While my past tweets were decidedly not about Blackness nor complexion nor Black womxn, I took part in a misogynoirist culture that ignorantly objectifies Black womxn as a whole. And I take full responsibility for my words and actions. The Black community has internalized so much trauma and I carry that with me every day. This is why I am committed to this work. I believe in the power of restorative processes in my community. Thank you for holding me accountable," he ended the statement. 

There was a variety of responses to the statement with some people accepting his apology and others questioning why it took so long.

The Sanders campaign has not responded to requests for comment about the issue, but Sanders lauded Agnew for his community work when his hiring was announced.

“I am excited to welcome Phillip to our team. He is a gifted organizer and one of his generation’s most critical voices on issues of race and inequity. He has and will continue to push me and this movement to deliver on what is owed to Black people who have yet to experience reciprocity in this country,” Sanders said.