Gov. Northam vows: 'I'm not going anywhere'


Earlier this month, on February 1, a photo from Northam's medical school yearbook was resurfaced, appearing to show the politician and another person wearing racist costumes - with one dressed in blackface and another wearing KKK robes, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

While speaking with "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King, the scandal-plagued Democrat was prompted to discuss his experience in dealing with his own public admission to having worn blackface in 1984.

Republicans, including Trump, have predicted the scandal plaguing Virginia's top Democratic officials will give them the opportunity to make political gains in a state that's increasingly voted for Democrats in recent elections.

Democrat Patrick Hope threatened to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax, telling reporters last week that there is "no question that violent sexual assault qualifies as an impeachable high crime". On Friday, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association removed Fairfax from its leadership ranks, naming officials from DE and Washington state in his place. On Friday, Watson also came forward, alleging that he assaulted her when they were university students in 2000.

In his first TV interview since the image surfaced, Mr Northam said he later took a "step back" and determined it was not him in the photo.

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.

The embattled lieutenant governor of Virginia was accused by two women of sexual assault, including rape by one of the women. The polling was conducted before the second sexual allegation against Fairfax. Fairfax has said encounters with his accusers in 2000 and 2004 were consensual and has asked the FBI to investigate.

Northam now says he plans to dedicate the rest of his term to helping Virginia "heal" - telling CBS in an interview Sunday, "I'm not going anywhere".

Jennifer Wexton, elected in November's midterms, on Sunday stood by a previous call she made for Northam to step down.

Northam also told King that he believed that the controversy happened "for a reason", also implying that he will not be stepping down as governor.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, held off from directly calling for Fairfax's resignation.

A Democratic state lawmaker, meanwhile, said on Twitter that he would not move immediately on his call over the weekend for impeachment proceedings against Virginia's lieutenant governor, who has been accused of sexually assaulting two women, charges he has denied.

There have been wide calls for Fairfax, an African-American, to quit in the wake of the assault allegations, but he has refused and instead called for an investigation.

Northam said he has had painful conversations this week with black lawmakers - who continue to call publicly for him to resign - about the issue of blackface, and why it was wrong for him to darken his face to portray Michael Jackson in a San Antonio dance contest in 1984, as he has admitted doing.

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

"Well again, we have worked very hard, we've had a good first year, and I'm a leader. I've been in some very difficult situations, life-and-death situations..."