Virginia governor makes first public appearance since blackface scandal

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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.

2019-02-11
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