Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam won't resign this morning, Virginia Democrats say
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam acknowledged Friday that he appears in a photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page that shows a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe. He quickly apologized. (Feb. 1) AP
Despite a televised apology, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam does not intend to resign despite an uproar from all sides of the political spectrum over a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook page.
The state party organization Virginia Democrats, which has called for him to step down, wrote on Twitter Saturday that "we have gotten word he will not do so this morning."
In a further twist to the issue, the Washington Post reported that Democratic State Sen. L. Louise Lucas said Northam called her Saturday morning and told her he did not think the picture was of him and he did not plan to step down from office.
“He should have said that yesterday then,” she said. “He just told me he didn’t think it’s him. And I said, ‘Ralph, this is a day late and a dollar short. It’s too late.’”
The governor scheduled a 2:30 p.m. statement to reporters, according to media reports.
The latest developments come after the governor issued both a written statement and comments on a video regarding the matter.
The governor acknowledged Friday that he is one of the two men in the yearbook photo — one in blackface and the other in a full white Ku Klux Klan robe, complete with pointed hood.
"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," Northam said in a written statement Friday, vowing to push forward and work to mend the damage he'd caused.
"This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service," Northam said. "But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians' faith in that commitment."
“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused,” the statement read. “I am ready to do that important work.”
Northam quickly faced calls from his resignation by former vice president Joe Biden, Terry McAuliffe, Northam's Democratic predecessor as governor, and a half-dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood and state Democratic lawmakers.
Virginia's two Democratic U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, each issued statements stopping short of calling out right for his departure, but saying Northam should carefully consider his next move.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch, the newspaper in the state capital, said in an editorialthat Northam should step down.
"He is by all accounts a decent and considerate man," the editorial said. "And yet, his poor judgment has undermined his standing with Virginians in ways that we believe will permanently impair his ability to act as an effective governor. He should resign and return to his profession as a physician, with the thanks of those he has served as a state senator, lieutenant governor, and for the past year, governor."
Northam later tweeted a video apology saying that the "racist" photo "doesn't reflect" the person he is now. He also said he wanted to serve out his four-year term.
USA TODAY Opinion contributor Ellis Cose explains the "egregious" history and stereotypes behind blackface. USA TODAY
A second yearbook photo is from Northam's time at the Virginia Military Institute, which makes its yearbooks available online. Page 90 of the 1981 edition shows the nicknames "Goose" and "Coonman" underneath Northam's school photo. Northam has yet to address the VMI yearbook.
The calls for him to step down erupted almost immediately after The Washington Postpublished a story on the photo, which was first discovered Friday afternoon by the conservative news outlet Big League Politics.
His resignation would propel Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Democrat, into the governorship. Fairfax is only the second African-American to win statewide office in Virginia. Northam’s term was set to end in 2022.
Larry Sabato, head of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, wrote on Twitter that if Northam steps down he will be the first Virginia governor since the Civil War not to complete his term. Sabato also said that if Fairfax finishes Northam's unexpired term, he will remain eligible to run for a full term in 2021. Under state law, governors are not allowed to run for re-election.
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, the state House Democratic Caucus and the state Senate Democratic Caucus called on Northam to resign late Friday, along with several key progressive groups that have been some of the governor’s closest political allies.
State Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, a close ally of Northam and longtime African-American lawmaker, described a hastily called conference call with black leaders around the state as “intense.”
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which met with Northam Friday evening, said in a statement they appreciate his service, but added: "It is clear that he can no longer effectively serve as governor.”
“It is time for him to resign, so that Virginia can begin the process of healing,” the group said.
Jack Wilson, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, called the photos "wholly inappropriate," adding that "racism has no place in Virginia."
State Sen. Richard H. Stuart, a Republican and one of the governor’s closest friends, said he had not been able to talk to him about the issue and did not know what to make of it, but stood by him, The Washington Post reported.
“He’s my friend and I will always stand up for him,” said Stuart, according to the newspaper.
Several Democratic presidential hopefuls and potential presidential candidates, including former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Kamala Harris, of California, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, of New York, Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey, and former HUD secretary Julian Castro., also called on Northam to step down.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson said, "Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay."
"No matter the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior," he tweeted, adding that the organization was calling for Northam's departure.
Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina who recently spoke out against Republican Rep. Steve King's remarks about white supremacism, also denounced Northam's yearbook fiasco.
"To be clear, while a quick apology is good, it does not excuse the choices made by @GovernorVA as an adult enrolled in medical school," Scott wrote on Twitter. "The people of VA will make their voices heard;I hope they will shout far&wide that there are consequences for such showcases of prejudice&hate."
Last week, Florida’s then-secretary of state Michael Ertel resigned after photos from a 2005 Halloween party showed him in blackface while dressed as a Hurricane Katrina victim.
Northam, who previously served as lieutenant governor for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, ran for governor in 2017 in the aftermath of the white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, which left one woman dead and several injured after a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters.
The rally drew neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right, many of whom carried Confederate flags or wore clothing with Nazi or KKK insignias.
The race was one of Virginia's most racially charged in recent memory and ended with Northam beating Republican Ed Gillespie. Voters were peppered with ads about the Charlottesville unrest.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks to a crowd during a Women's Rights rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Virginia on Jan. 14, 2019.Steve Helber / AP file
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam does not plan to leave his office despite pressure from prominent lawmakers to resign over a racially offensive photo that appeared on his medical school yearbook page, according to his spokesperson. The photo shows one person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.
After Northam apologized Friday on Twitter "for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now," a spokeswoman for the governor said he planned to announce at a press conference Saturday afternoon that he would not resign.
A spokesman for Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas told NBC News on Saturday that Northam reached out to Lucas and told the senator that it was not him in the picture. The apology Friday, which called the image "clearly racist and offensive," acknowledged his appearance in the photo and suggests he did, at one point, think he might have been one the people pictured, though it is not clear which one.
Northam resisted calls for his resignation in that statement, however, stating in a video of the apology that he would keep on fighting for Virginia. "I'm committed to continuing that fight through the remainder of my term," he said.
But pressure continued to grow as the Virginia House Democratic caucus, Senate Democratic caucus and Virginia black caucus all came out against the governor.
"We are having trouble reconciling our experience with Governor Northam with what we see in this photo," the House Democrats said in a statement Friday. "We regret to say that we are no longer confident in the Governor's representation of Virginians."
Fromer Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Northam's predecessor and a close ally, notably joined the calls for him to resign. "The situation that he has put himself and the Commonwealth of Virginia in is untenable. It's time for Ralph to step down, and for the Commonwealth to move forward," he tweeted.
It is unclear whether those Virginia Democrats will reconsider their position after Northam's latest claim, but a notable statement came from former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder, the first and only African-American to serve as governor in Virginia.
"It has never been right, in Virginia, nor anywhere else to participate in or condone such mockery or insensitive behavior and for that Gov. Northam should be criticized," the former governor wrote on Twitter, noting that many had asked him to respond to this latest revelation.
The elder statesman of Virginia politics, however, declined to call for Northam's resignation.
"The choice of his continuing in office is his to make," Wilder concluded.
Still, several Democrats who have announced interest in a 2020 presidential run — Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — called for Northam's resignation.
"Racism has no place in Virginia," said Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jack Wilson in a statement before Northam apologized. "These pictures are wholly inappropriate. If Governor Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately."
NBC News verified the yearbook pictures with the school. NBC News is not aware of the identities of both of the men in the picture in blackface or the Klan robes. All the other photos on the page are clearly of Northam: one in a suit jacket, one in a cowboy hat where he is holding a beer, one sitting next to a Corvette.
Vincent Rhodes, chief communications officer for the school, said the production of the yearbook was a student activity, adding, "We don’t know when or where the picture was taken and we don't know anything about its content."
The NAACP also said the Virginia Democrat should step down. "Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay. No matter the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior," said the organization's president, Derrick Johnson.
Northam, a doctor, came under fire from Republicans earlier this week, who accused him of supporting infanticide because of comments he made in support of allowing late-term abortions when the fetus is severely deformed or would be unable to survive after birth.
He was elected governor in 2017 in a hotly-contested race against Republican Ed Gillespie. Northam said he supported taking down Confederate monuments, a stance Gillespie blasted him for.
In his victory speech, Northam, an Army veteran and pediatric neurologist, said, "Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry."
"It’s going to take a doctor to heal our differences. And I’m here to tell you, the doctor is in!" he declared.
The yearbook photo was first reported by Big League Politics, a far-right website that often promotes conspiracy theories.
Chelsea vs Huddersfield LIVE score: Gonzalo Higuain scores first Premier League goal
Keep track of the latest Premier League action and goal updates from Stamford Bridge. Kick-off: 3pm (UK Time)
The Blues were woeful in midweek as they were thrashed 4-0 by Bournemouth.
That defeat left Maurizio Sarri seething as the Chelsea boss kept his players behind for over an hour.
Huddersfield meanwhile got Jan Siewert's reign off to the worst possible start as they lost at home to Everton.
The Terriers were behind after just three minutes and the defeat left them rock bottom, 12 points adrift of Burnley in 17th.
Follow all the action as it happens, right here.
Overall Possession Ratio
Overall Possession Ratio
Gonzalo Higuain has scored his first Chelsea goal.
The Argentine struggled on his Premier League debut in midweek.
But he has been much more like it today and has the opener.
Overall Possession Ratio
Jamie Carragher says he feels sorry for Chelsea midfielder Jorginho and that the Italian needs help.
The 27-year-old arrived from Napoli in the summer for £57million, following Maurizio Sarri to the club.
After initially impressing, Jorginho has flattered to deceive of late. And his dip in form has coincided with Chelsea’s recent run of poor results.
But rather than blame the midfielder himself, Carragher has targeted Sarri and his Chelsea team-mates.
“At the start of this season the formula worked. Then the better coaches reacted, man-marking Jorginho,” Carragher penned for
“Faced with the challenge of tweaking his 4-3-3 system, Sarri’s response has disappointed. He won’t replace Jorginho because without him the system is compromised, but I feel sorry for the midfielder because any player who is man-marked will find it difficult - as we have seen with Eden Hazard.
“When you are man-marked it is a sign of respect. Jorginho needs help.”
Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine pleaded guilty to nine counts of racketeering conspiracy, firearms offenses and narcotics trafficking in his ongoing criminal case and will cooperate with federal prosecutors, according to recently unsealed court documents. The charges relate to his involvement in a violent gang in New York called the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods.
Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, stated in a trial last week that he joined the gang in the fall of 2017. Its members engaged in various criminal acts to “preserve and enhance the power of Nine Trey,” he said, adding that he had helped rob people and once paid someone to shoot at a rival gang member to “maintain or increase my own standing in Nine Trey.” Hernandez, 22, also said he had sold heroin and participated in the attempted murder of another gang rival.
“At all times I knew that these actions were wrong and in violation of the law,” he said. “I apologize to the court, to anyone who was hurt, to my family, friends and fans for what I have done and who I have let down.”
Hernandez gained a following as a SoundCloud rapper, as those who release their music through the streaming platform are known. Along with XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot last summer, Hernandez represented a sect of the hip-hop scene that deviated from the norm. New York Times music critic Jon Caramanica described him as a “brute-force screamer,” in that he “thrives on raps and repetition, as if constantly looking to pick a fistfight.”
Hernandez’s debut single, “Gummo,” rose to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum. As a mainstream artist, he released the song “Fefe” with Nicki Minaj, which rose to No. 3. His debut album, “Dummy Boy,” came out in late November and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
Hernandez and five other Nine Trey members were indicted in November. Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement that they “wreaked havoc on New York City, engaging in brazen acts of violence.”
In a statement shared shortly afterward with The Washington Post, Hernandez’s attorney Lance Lazzaro said that his client was “completely innocent of all charges being brought against him.”
“An entertainer who portrays a ‘gangster image’ to promote his music does not make him a member of an enterprise,” Lazzaro wrote in November. “Mr. Hernandez became a victim of this enterprise and later took steps by firing employees and publicly denounced this enterprise through a morning show. Threats were then made against his life which resulted in this case being brought immediately.”
On Friday, Lazzaro did not respond to The Post’s request for comment on Hernandez’s guilty plea.
Tekashi 6ix9ine Pleads Guilty To Nine Charges, Will Cooperate With Prosecutors
Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has pleaded guilty to nine charges relating to his recent arrest and will cooperate with federal prosecutors as they investigate New York's Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, the New York Times reports.
In November, Tekashi—born Daniel Hernandez—and his Tr3yway associates were arrested on racketeering and firearms charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. The rapper and his affiliates participated in these activities “for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing position in (gang) Nine,” according to court documents.
During last week’s hearing, Tekashi acknowledged his association with the Nine Trey Bloods, admitting to robbing people at gunpoint and participating in drug trafficking. “I paid a person to shoot at a rival member of Nine Trey to scare him,” the rapper confessed. He did this in order “to maintain or increase my own standing in Nine Trey.”
Tekashi’s legal troubles date back to 2015, when the then-18-year-old rapper pleaded guilty to the use of a child in a sexual performance and received 1,000 hours of community service. Last May, one of his associates was arrested for a shooting at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and in July, Tekashi was arrested for allegedly choking a 16-year-old boy in Houston’s Galleria Mall.
As Tekashi’s legal burdens mounted, his star continued to rise. His debut mixtape, Day69: Graduation Day, reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 2018, and his Nicki Minaj collaboration “Fefe” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. His debut studio album, Dummy Boy, debuted in the Top 2 in December, following a neck-and-neck chart race with Travis Scott that still lacks a clean resolution. Dummy Boy should have marked a new phase in Tekashi’s career, but the rapper’s imprisonment following his arrest derailed his immediate promotional plans. Now, his career hangs in jeopardy as he awaits sentencing.
The two were first spotted together at a Golden Globes afterparty in January
Pete Davidson had a special someone supporting him at his stand-up show in Los Angeles on Friday night.
Davidson’s latest set featured some material from his Jan. 12 show at the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York — including a joke about ex-fiancée Ariana Grande‘s infamous comment about the size of his penis, which he called a “mean” but “also genius” move.
“I don’t like that she talked all that s— for my penis,” Davidson joked in January.
“Everything is huge to her,” he continued. “Why would she tell everyone that I have a huge penis? So that every girl who sees my d— for the rest of my life is disappointed.”
After the show, Davidson and Beckinsale went to his hotel in Santa Monica, a source tells PEOPLE.
“They arrived at the hotel hand-in-hand,” says the onlooker. “Kate looked gorgeous.”
Reps for Davidson and Beckinsale did not immediately return PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
The stars were first spotted together in January, when they hit it off at Netflix’s Golden Globes afterparty.
As PEOPLE previously reported, the two talked intently for most of the night there, keeping their focus on each other even while mingling with Davidson’s close friend Machine Gun Kelly (née Colson Baker), Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen. Eventually, the other members of the group wandered off, and Davidson and Beckinsale continued to chat. One onlooker said they cuddled at the party as well.
Despite reports, the two did not leave together, a separate source told PEOPLE.
It all started after she shared an old photo of her mother, 71-year-old actress Judy Loe, to Instagram.
In an exchange captured by the popular Instagram account Comment by Celebs, one of Beckinsale’s followers wrote, “Dear heavens, Kate. Not Pete Davidson.” And without missing a beat, Beckinsale responded, “No, that’s my mother. Easy mistake.”
Beckinsale was last linked to 23-year-old comedian and actor Matt Rife. The Underworld star shares 20-year-old daughter Lily Mo Sheen with actor Michael Sheen, whom she dated for eight years, and was married to director Len Wiseman from 2004 to 2016.
Earlier this month, Beckinsale was hospitalized after suffering a ruptured ovarian cyst.
“Turns out a ruptured ovarian cyst really hurts and morphine makes me cry. So thankful to everyone who looked after me,” she captioned two Instagram shots of her from her hospital bed, adding “#wobbly.”
The Saturday Night Live star, 25, led the way, holding on tight to the actress, 45, as the duo left Lago Bar in Los Angeles in the early hours of Saturday, February 2. Davidson sported a graphic sweatshirt, black pants and sneakers, while Beckinsale wore a black-and-white checkered coat with black tights and attempted to cover her face.
The duo were first seen hanging out at several Golden Globes afterparties on January 6. “Kate and Pete were flirting at the InStyle party and she was following him around a bit and waiting for him,” a source told Us Weekly after the bash. “People approached her and she didn’t want to talk to anyone else.”
The insider noted that “it definitely seemed like Kate was interested in him.”
According to multiple reports by other outlets at the time, Beckinsale and Davidson also stuck together at Netflix’s Golden Globes soiree. The pair were “sitting very close on the outside patio” and she “had her hand on his knee,” an onlooker told Page Six.
The Serendipity star playfully addressed the dating rumors days later after posting a photo of her mom on Instagram. “Dear heavens, Kate. Not Pete Davidson,” a fan wrote, to which Beckinsale replied: “No that’s my mother. Easy mistake.”
A source revealed to Us that the comedian “smiled sheepishly and said, ‘Yes,’” after an audience member at his January 12 stand-up show yelled the Underworld actress’ name.
The Set It Up actor split from Ariana GrandeOpens a New Window. in October 2018, four months after Us broke the news of their engagement. Us confirmed in December 2018 that Davidson refused to see his ex when she tried to visit him following an alarming post he shared on Instagram. He also blocked the pop star, 25, on social media after their breakup.
Scroll to see more photos of Beckinsale and Davidson’s cozy outing.
The Trainwreck actor had a lollipop in his mouth as he exited the establishment with the Brit. He and Grande were often spotted snacking on the tasty treat throughout their relationship.
On the Mend
“[Pete] is doing a lot better,” a source told Us in December following his disturbing Instagram post that read, “I really don’t want to be on this earth anymore. I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. All i’ve ever tried to do was help people. Just remember i told you so.”
Back in the Groove
Davidson returned to Saturday Night Live during the January 19 episode. “After observing [John Mulaney’s] life, I publicly threatened suicide,” he quipped before receiving reassurance from his pal that he is “loved by many.”
Rules of the Split
The comedian joked during a January comedy show that talking about his relationship with Grande is “fair game” because she wrote “Thank U, Next” about him.
Beckinsale clapped back at an Instagram user in January who asked if her longtime friend Stephen Simbari was her son. “He is my son yes,” she responded. “I kept him in the cellar for 29 years but now I feel I should take him out on jaunts.”
Davidson revealed during a January stand-up show that he hooked up with a friend after his breakup from the “7 Rings” singer.
In Atlanta this weekend for promotional purposes with Puma, eight-time Olympic Gold medalist Usain Bolt just turned heads at Mercedes-Benz Stadium — in sweats and sneakers no less.
Bolt ran an electronic-timed 4.22 in the 40-yard dash, tying the all-time fastest mark set at the NFL Combine by former Washington speedster John Ross. Ross broke Chris Johnson's record two years ago in Indianapolis on his first run and didn't try a second attempt.
The Jamaican retired sprinter, 32, doesn't look like he has lost any of his world-class jets. He recently declared that his "sports life is over" and is looking to gain appeal in the business world, much like former USA gold medalist Michael Johnson.
"I would advise anyone, whether it's Usain Bolt or any other athlete about what to do after retiring — I think it's about finding a passion." Johnson told CNBC this week.
Bolt was earning upwards of $20 million a year mostly from endorsements before his retirement in 2017 and his most lucrative deal — Puma — pays him more than $10 million annually, according to Forbes.
Usain Bolt runs a 4.22 forty at the Super Bowl (Video)
Emiliano Sala: Seabed search for plane off Guernsey
A seabed search for the missing plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot will start on Sunday.
Cardiff City's new signing disappeared with pilot David Ibbotson over the English Channel on 21 January.
Two vessels will conduct sonar surveys off Guernsey, said David Mearns who is coordinating part of the search.
Cushions believed to be from the plane were found on a beach near Surtainville, on France's Cotentin Peninsula, on Monday.
Argentine Sala, 28, and Mr Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, were travelling from Nantes, where Sala previously played, when the flight was lost.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said Geo Ocean III departed at 09:00 GMT on Saturday with investigators on board, and is expected to arrive at the search area at 09:00 on Sunday to start the underwater search, which will last three days.
Cardiff City play their first match at home since Sala, the club's record £15m signing, went missing.
A minute's silence is planned before the game with Bournemouth at 17:30 GMT.
Cardiff's match shirts will be embroidered with daffodils and players will warm up in t-shirts paying tribute to Sala.
Speaking from Guernsey harbour, Mr Mearns said his team would work jointly with a second vessel commissioned by the AAIB.
They plan to search an area covering two square miles about 24 nautical miles north of Guernsey.
It has been based on the flight path before it lost radar contact, said Mr Mearns, a shipwreck hunter.
"The family are devastated and struggling with what has happened," he said.
"What we are doing is trying to provide some answers for them."
An official search following the plane's disappearance was called off after three days with Guernsey officials saying there was little chance those on board survived.
It prompted a privately-funded search to be set up after £324,000 was raised in an online appeal.
Sala's family arrived on Guernsey following his disappearance and were taken to see the area that was searched, circling the island of Alderney.
Mr Mearns said both vessels would divide the search area in half, looking for "wreckage" and a "debris field" in a depth of 60-120m (196-390ft).
"We will continue to work until the plane is located," he said.