Black leaders: Stop telling Northam to resign

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

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

Northam has denied being either person in the photo, but he has said he wore blackface on a separate occasion.

He is among the top three Democrats in the state who have been rocked by scandal in the past couple of weeks.

Democratic Del. Patrick Hope said he wants to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax on Monday, but Hope is not a powerful figure in the House and there's little sign there's a broad appetite for impeachment with lawmakers set to finish this year's legislative session by the end of the month. On Friday, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association removed Fairfax from its leadership ranks, naming officials from DE and Washington state in his place. About two-thirds of those polled said they did not know enough about the first woman's accusation against Fairfax to make a judgment on his denial that he assaulted her, but were not asked about the second woman's allegations, which were made while the survey was underway.

At first he apologized for that photo in a statement - then, the very next day, he said he did not appear in that image and was not responsible for its placement on his yearbook page. From there Northam claimed that because he has "strength", "courage" and "a moral compass", he was "not going anywhere".

The embattled Democrat, who has faced calls to resign from politicians of both parties, conducted an interview with Gayle King, which aired on Monday.

Northam initially apologised for being in the photo then, the following day, staged a freakish press conference where he denied being in that picture but admitted to dressing in blackface for a social event that same year.

Another clip released by CBS News showed Northam discussing his lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women. Fairfax has said encounters with his accusers in 2000 and 2004 were consensual and has asked the FBI to investigate. Calls for Northam's resignation raised the prospect of Fairfax taking over, which prompted his accusers to come forward.

"It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me", he said in a statement.

Northam, who said he had dressed in blackface in a different instance than the one documented in the yearbook, has also resisted calls to step down.

Asked for his opinion on his subordinates, Northam told CBS it's up to them to decide whether they want to stay.

"It is atrocious that he will be presiding over the Senate of Virginia today with these allegations", Hope said in a statement.

Northam, in the CBS interview, said the accusations against Fairfax "are very, very serious".

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

Northam's pledge Sunday to work on healing Virginia's racial divide was his second in as many days.

If Fairfax were to leave, there's no consensus on who could replace him.

Most of Virginia's Democratic Congressional delegation and prominent national Democrats, including 2020 presidential candidates, called for the governor to resign after the racist photograph surfaced. They have been more forgiving of Attorney General Mark Herring, largely because he came forward on his own to admit having performed in blackface at a 1980 college party, rather than waiting for someone else to accuse him.

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