Virginia Gov. Northam, Lt. Gov. Fairfax reject growing calls for resignation

Virginia Gov. Northam, Lt. Gov. Fairfax reject growing calls for resignation

Virginia Gov. Northam, Lt. Gov. Fairfax reject growing calls for resignation

King interjects: "Also known as slavery".

I really don't get why Ralph Northam or his comms team thinks it helps him to communicate in public.

"Yes, yes", Northam replied, prompting exasperation from some commentators on social media. "Lieutenant-Governor Fairfax has suggested and called for an investigation, I strongly support that".

In an attempt to remark on the history of slavery in Virginia, Gov. Northam referred to Africans kidnapped, tortured, and forced against their will to work as "indentured servants" which caused King to correct him for the gaffe and inform the doctor that would be referred to as "slavery".

According to excerpts of the interview provided on Sunday by CBS, Northam was asked about allegations of sexual crimes, including rape, that have been made by two women against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a fellow Democrat and the state's second-highest elected official.

In a statement, Fairfax called the latest claim "unsubstantiated" and "demonstrably false". Northam later acknowledged he wore blackface at a separate event in the 1980s.

"Many people will be asking, 'who else has photos like this?'" Gregory Smithers, a history professor at Virginia Commonwealth University said.

Watson's allegations triggered an avalanche of calls by top officials in the Democratic Party, including presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Corey Booker, for their colleague to step down.

Asked Sunday for his opinion on his subordinates, Northam said in the CBS interview that it's up to Fairfax and Herring to decide whether they want to remain in office.

The Democratic governor told Gayle King on CBS' Face the Nation that, "Yes, I have thought about resigning".

"The one thing I want to make abundantly clear is that in both situations I knew at the time, and I know today, that the interactions were consensual", he said.

"I overreacted", he said, by putting out a statement taking blame for the picture. He has served Virginia well and he, and I, and Justin - all three of us - have fought for equality. The Democratic caucuses of both chambers said in a statement that Fairfax, who presides over the Senate, "can no longer fulfill his duties".

Northam reportedly spoke to The Washington Post for 30 minutes from the parlor of the Virginia governor's mansion, and resolved to allow the issue to pass.

Hughes, 54, thinks the governor should resign. Fairfax has denied the allegations.

Despite mounting calls for his resignation, Northam told the Post that he sees the "horrific" reckoning that came out of the scandal as a way to refocus his governorship.

'I look back now and regret that I did not understand the harmful legacy of an action like that'.

"We don't even know where to take the conversation from here", community organizer Chelsea Wise said at a meeting of Democrats in Richmond on Thursday.

"I'm not as devastated by blackface and neither will I hold a person accountable for what they did 35 years ago, when this election for him as governor was not based upon who he was 35 years ago", said the grey-suited 52-year-old.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has similarly refused to resign amid the resurfacing of a photo from his 1984 medical-school yearbook in which he is suspected of either wearing blackface or a Ku Klux Klan-like robe.

Northam has admitted to wearing blackface while impersonating Michael Jackson at a 1984 dance contest, but has denied that he was in a yearbook photograph depicting a man in blackface sharing a beer with a hooded klansman.

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