Embattled Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) is now calling Virginia Democrats and telling them that he is not the man in the yearbook photo, either dressed in blackface or in a KKK robe.
The Associated Press reports a Virginia Democrat who spoke to Northam, but was not authorized to speak on the record, told the media outlet, “The governor now does not believe he was in a racist picture in his 1984 medical yearbook and has no immediate plans to resign.”
Northam is apparently calling other lawmakers to gain support, this Democrat told the AP.
On Friday, after the photo surfaced, Northam apologized for appearing in the photo but said he would not resign.
“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.
“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. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.”
Other reporters also have spoken to Virginia Democrats who say they spoke to Northam. Jonathan Martin of The New York Times reported that Northam was calling Dems and saying it wasn’t him in the photo.
“NEWS: Northam is calling Va Dems and telling them that’s *not* him in the yearbook photo and he will make a statement this afternoon to say the same. In other words, he is NOT quitting as of right now,” Martin tweeted.
Martin followed up this tweet by saying Northam is also “calling his former med school classmates to jog their memories” and “does NOT think he is the man in Klan hood or blackface and doesn’t want to resign before trying to determine who is in that photo.”
In his article on the new development, co-authored with two of his Times colleagues, Martin wrote that Northam was “determined to prove it was not him in the photograph and was even considering using facial recognition software.”
Ryan Nobles, CNN’s Washington Correspondent, confirmed Martin’s reporting, writing on Twitter that Northam “has reached out to prominent Virginia Democrats informing them that he now does not believe it was him in the photo,” and that the governor “does not plan to resign.”
Nobles also reported that Northam is telling Virginia Democrats that “he [had] nothing to do with the yearbook’s production and did not pick the photos.”
It will be interesting to see how Northam tries to retract his statement Friday apologizing for appearing in the photo, and whether anyone on the Left will believe him and retract their calls for him to resign.