Virginia governor faces pressure to resign after racist yearbook photo surfaces

Virginia governor faces pressure to resign after racist yearbook photo surfaces

Virginia governor faces pressure to resign after racist yearbook photo surfaces

Should Northam still be in office by Tuesday night, it could find its way into President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, which wouldn't bode well for Democrats, who would most likely stand up to applaud the president if he has to call for Northam's resignation.

Northam said Saturday afternoon that he does not think he is one of the two people in a photograph of a man wearing blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe that appears on his Eastern Virginia Medical School senior yearbook page.

The yearbook images were first published by the conservative news outlet Big League Politics. The photo, one of several on a page dedicated to Northam, shows two people posing - one in blackface wearing a hat, bow tie and plaid trousers; the other in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Northam, who took office a year ago, will hold a news conference at 2.30pm local time on Saturday, his office said.

"This is a reprehensible picture that is deeply disappointing and I know must come with pain beyond what many of us can even understand", Cooper said in a statement released Saturday.

While Fairfax did not explicitly call for the Northam's resignation - several other lawmakers, including multiple 2020 presidential candidates, have done so since the photo emerged - he said he couldn't "condone the actions from his past".

In a statement Friday, Virginia House Democrats said they were "deeply saddened by the news" and "are no longer confident in the Governor's representation of Virginians".

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Twitter: "There is no place for racism in America".

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In the video, Anderson Cooper rightly identifies the governor as a Democrat, but beneath the governor's image, CNN ran the chyron: "Ralph Northam (R) Virginia". Northam's term was set to end in 2022. Black politicians in Virginia called it "disgusting" and Republicans also urged him to resign.

Black lawmakers said they met with Northam Friday evening, and said in a statement they appreciate his service.

The head of Northam's party in the state also called on him to quit.

Addressing the controversy in a press conference Saturday, Northam noted that he had once painted his face "as part of a Michael Jackson costume", but that he was not the man with the darkened face in the photo in question.

"He betrayed us", she told The Associated Press on Saturday.

"As we commemorate 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to Virginia, it is painful to experience such a searing reminder of the modern legacy of our nation's original sin", he continued. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia; the NAACP and Planned Parenthood.

Northam, a former pediatric neurosurgeon and Army doctor, won the governorship in 2017. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said Americans "should expect more from our elected officials." Sen.

Northam, 59, grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the fishing village of Onancock. One wore blackface and the other donned a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

"It's a matter of relationships and trust".

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