Trump taunts Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as Democrats urge him to resign

The announcement follows Friday's revelation that a photo on Northam's 1984 profile page features someone in blackface and someone in KKK robes. "Having seen the photo, I believe Governor Northam should resign", Gillibrand said on Twitter. I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now'. The denial failed to silence calls for the governor to quit.

In the wake of the initial story, numerous Democrats called on Northam to resign. President Donald Trump also weighed in on the debate.

Protesters gathered in front of Northam's office in Richmond, Virginia, waving signs demanding he step down.

Even if Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam doesn't heed widespread calls to resign, he has lost the support of virtually all of the state's Democratic establishment. "He will put Virginia first, and I think that will happen relatively soon". "He even acted at the press conference like he was willing to moon walk until his wife stopped him, which shows that he still does not understand the seriousness of his actions". Northam, a 59-year-old pediatric neurologist and Army veteran, graduated from Norfolk medical school in 1984.

Northam, standing by his wife Pam, said he believed it was possible some photographs in the yearbook had been switched.

"If it wasn't him in the photo, he should've said that on Friday", he said Sunday.

On Friday night, Northam had seemed to indicate that he was in the photo. "In the place and time where I grew up, many actions that we rightfully recognize as abhorrent today were commonplace".

The scars from centuries of racial oppression are still raw in a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy. A state holiday honouring Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson is a perennial source of discontent.

As calls for Northam to resign have intensified, Virginia lawmakers are already floating their next moves. Del. The current lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, is only the second African American elected to statewide office in Virginia. Although Northam initially said that he had been in the photograph and apologized for doing so, he later insisted that the picture did not show him and refused to heed calls for his resignation. But on Saturday he said he looked at the photo more carefully and is sure it was not him.

The appearance of the photo immediately sparked criticism from several Democrats running for president. Cory Booker and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard all also urged Northam to step down. Meanwhile the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus wrote, "Another moment should not pass before we hear Governor Northam do the honorable thing and resign".

Earlier in the day, others also called on him to step down. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., joined their colleagues in calling for Northam to resign in a rare joint statement.

Northam's admission of blackening his face for a dance contest is an "example of the historical effects of institutional racism and the lack of awareness of the discrimination" against black people, the NAACP said. "Coonman", he said, was used by only two people and he didn't know why.

Had Northam resigned, he would have been succeeded by Fairfax.

But McAuliffe said Northam's explanation was too little, too late. Northam said Fairfax "has been very supportive".

  • Joey Payne