Transcript for Virginia governor makes first public appearance since blackface scandal
So the three big political headlines today perfectly encapsulate the can’t make this up stranger than fiction political environment in which we as Americans are living right now. Story number one, the governor of Virginia making his first public appearance since that infamous news conference last week where he admitted to wearing blackface. Facing impeachment over allegations of sexual assault. Story number two, the publisher of “The national enquirer” facing new allegations of blackmail and extortion. Actor Terry crews and Ronan farrow joining Amazon’s Jeff bezos in cng out the company whose CEO is an ally of president trump. And story number three, senator Elizabeth Warren officially jumps into the president race and is immediately attackedy president trump over her past claims of native American ancestry. We’re covering all three of those stories now, but first let’s start with the political chaos in Virginia. ABC’s Zachary ch is in Richmond with the latest. Zachary, good morning. Reporter: Whit, they have made flatout denials and made promises for change, but the big question this morning is who has the moral courage, the moral compass to lead the state of Virginia? This good morning, lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, Ng firm calling for the FBI to investigate two sexual assault allegations made against him in the last week. Any message for the citizens of Virginia? We’ll have our say and I’m confident in the truth. Thank y’all so much. Reporter: Fairfax adamantly denying the allegations in a statement saying, in both situations new at the time and I know today that the interactions were consensual. As members from both sides of the aisle call for his resignation, Fairfax now faces the threat of impeachment. He needs to resign immediately. Should the lieutenant governor fail to do so, on Monday, I intend to introduce articles of impeachment. Vanessa Tyson claims Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex back in 2004. The second victim, Meredith Watson, says Fairfax raped her in 2000. Both were students at duke university. She knew things were changing when he got up and locked the door. Reporter: Overnight, lawyers for Tyson and Watson releasing statements saying, their clients are ready and prepared to testify at impeachment hearings should the articles pass. Virginia governor Ralph Northam also caught in controversy. He emerged after a week of silence to pay respects at a funeral of a fallen officer. Just ten days ago, Northam admitted and denied having appeared in this 1984 yearbook image showing two people, one in a kkk hood and the other wearing blackface. It’s not me, and it was horrific and the fact that it was on my page was just unacceptable. Reporter: The governor is showing no signs of stepping down, addressing the controversy in an interview with “The Washington post” saying, I want tothat pain and I want to ma sure that all virginians have equal opportunity, and I think I’m the person that can do that for Virginia. Now there’s a new “Washington post” poll this morning that showresidents are actually split on what the governor should do. 47% say they believe he should step down and 47% are saying he should stay on, but this is an interesting point. He’s actually spiking among black residents. 58% of those polls said he should stay. Now the governor says he plans on using this incident as a tool towardal reconciliation. Dan? That’s interesting people may be processing this not through a racial lens, but a partisan lens. Zachary, thank you very much. Really appreciate it.
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