Second woman accuses Virginia's Lt Governor of sexual assault

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Ralph Northam, D, defended his ability to lead and heal the state's racial wounds in his first on-camera interview since the revelation of a racist photo that threatens to derail this governorship.

"I have thought about resigning, but I've also thought about what Virginia needs right now", Northam told CBS News.

He said he's learned that he needs to better understand what it means to be "born in white privilege". "And that's why I felt so strongly about going in front of the camera on Saturday and clarifying".

The controversy began when a conservative website earlier this month publicized Northam's page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook where a photo of two people - one in blackface and the other in a KKK uniform - holding beers are included with photos of Northam.

This comes as Virginia Governor Ralph Northam also faces calls for his resignation, after admitting to having worn blackface, as a racist photo was found on his medical school yearbook.

Northam also added to CBS that the first time he had seen the photo was after it had surfaced on February 1.

"We find that troubling for African Americans in the state of Virginia where we supported the Democratic Party strongly for them to jump to these conclusions quickly without allowing due process and allowing Justin Fairfax to answer to the allegations and each allow the women to come forward if that's what they choose to do", said Thompson.

"African Americans are very angry at the double standard on full display in Virginia!" The lieutenant governor released a statement Saturday repeating his strong denials that he ever sexually assaulted anyone. Mark Herring, Virginia's white attorney general, who also admitted to a past encounter with blackface, isn't leaving either.

A huge number of Democrats are calling on Northam to resign, and Northam himself has said Fairfax should resign.

If Northam, Fairfax and Herring resign, Kirk Cox, the Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, would become governor.

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Asked Sunday for his opinion on his subordinates, Northam told CBS it's up to them to decide whether they want to stay.

Party leaders in the state and across the nation have called for Northam and Fairfax to resign over the accusations against them.

Approximately 47 percent of Virginians believe Northam should step down, according to a new poll conducted by The Washington Post-Schar School. Because it doesn't. To the contrary, every time Northam talks to a reporter, there's a serious risk - if not likelihood - that he'll say something false, absurd, assinine, tone-deaf, clueless and/or racially insensitive (at the minimum).

Two women have accused Fairfax of sexual assault.

Fairfax, who won election as Virginia's lieutenant governor in November 2017, has vehemently denied both allegations.

Fairfax's policy director, Adele McClure, and scheduler, Julia Billingsly, both called it quits Monday, as did David Mills and Courtney McCargo, two employees of his We Rise Together political action committee, Fairfax's spokeswoman Lauren Burke said.

Northam has been in seclusion all week, using tunnels to shuttle between the mansion and the nearby building where he has an office. And Meredith Watson has come forward to claim he assaulted her during spring break in 2000 at the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity house at Duke, where they were both students.

"I didn't realize really the powerful implications of that", said Northam.

If Fairfax were to leave, it's unclear who could replace him as lieutenant governor.

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