Virginia blackface scandal: Ralph Northam vows to stay as governor

Video Fairfax...It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against

"There's no better person to do that than a doctor", Northam said.

Virginia's embattled Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, still won't resign after admitting to wearing blackface during a costume contest in the 1980s.

The allegations against Fairfax have placed Democrats in an uncomfortable position: They are attempting to push a rising African-American star out of office while a white governor and attorney general accused of racism may remain. They also noted she would be able to provide "at least two witnesses whom Ms. Watson told of the assault the day after Fairfax raped her".

In his first interview since the scandal erupted, a chastened Northam told The Washington Post on Saturday that the uproar has pushed him to confront the state's deep and lingering divisions over race, as well as his own insensitivity. From there Northam claimed that because he has "strength", "courage" and "a moral compass", he was "not going anywhere".

Many elected officials and presidential hopefuls have called for Fairfax to resign after two women went public with allegations of sexual assault this week.

"Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties", the Democratic caucuses of both the state House and Senate said in a joint statement.

Virginia's state government seemed to come unglued on February 8 as an embattled Gov. Ralph Northam made it clear he won't resign and the man in line to succeed him was hit with another sexual assault accusation and barraged with demands that he step down, too.

The dean of Virginia's Democratic congressional delegation requested immediate investigations of the women's allegations against Fairfax. Fairfax has said encounters with his accusers in 2000 and 2004 were consensual and has asked the FBI to investigate. Northam said he has no plans to resign, despite mounting pressure.

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In the interview, which is set to air Monday, Northam again refused to step down amid widespread and bipartisan calls for his resignation.

Presenter Gayle King, who is African American, said: "Also known as slavery".

Twitter, however, wasn't impressed by Northam's progress so far.

"It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do".

The "indentured servant" remark is the governor's latest misstep in a blackface scandal that has shaken Virginia to its foundation.

Asked why these women would come forward if they are lying, he said, "I would just say right now, the paramount issue is having the truth come out", he said. "As a firm, we believe that it is important to seriously listen to any allegation of sexual assault or harassment, and to treat all persons making such allegations with respect and sensitivity".

It's unclear who the people in the picture are, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him. He denies being in the photo, but acknowledged wearing blackface at a dance party that same year. Since then, the state's No. 3 official, Attorney General Mark Herring, also admitted to appearing in blackface while at the University of Virginia in 1980.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam talks during an interview at the Governor's Mansion, Febuary 9, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia.

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