Democratic Virginia members of the US Congress insisted on Sunday that state governor Ralph Northam can not remain in office after admitting that he wore blackface as a young man. The Virginia governor told King that he would support an investigation into the accusations and "if these accusations are determined to be true, I don't think he's going to have any other option but to resign".
"Did you ever think about resigning when the drumbeat became so loud, and by the way, they're still beating for you to step down?"
Following the allegations against Northam, another scandal arose surrounding his Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax.
"I knew I was, Miss King", Northam said, "but I didn't realize really the powerful implications of that, and again talking to a lot of friends that has come crystal clear to me this week".
Fairfax was accused by two women of sexual assault, including rape by one of the women.
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"Frankly, we really want any entity with comprehensive investigative power to thoroughly look into these accusations", Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke said.
Since the discovery of the photo, Attorney General Mark Herring, who had previously been calling for both officials' resignations, has since acknowledged wearing blackface at a college party in 1980.
The calls for Fairfax to resign come as Virginia's Democratic governor and attorney general are embroiled in scandals involving the past use of blackface.
Attorney Nancy Erika Smith released the statement Saturday night on behalf of Meredith Watson after Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denied the allegation and called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities to investigate. Among African-Americans, 58 percent believe he should remain governor, while just 37 percent say he should step aside. A lawyer for Meredith Watson, 39, said in a statement that Fairfax attacked Watson in 2000. "There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity". The governor initially admitted to being one of the individuals pictured, then changed his story, claiming he wasn't in that particular photo but wore blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume in a dance competition that same year.
"I can not believe, given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual".
"First of all what I plan to do.is to make sure that we have sensitivity training - in our Cabinet, in our agencies".
Northam, now a year into his four-year term, announced his intention to stay at an afternoon Cabinet meeting, according to a senior official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.