Rep. Bobby Scott: Northam's KKK-blackface yearbook photo 'indefensible'

Rep. Bobby Scott: Northam's KKK-blackface yearbook photo 'indefensible'
© Greg Nash

Virginia Rep. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottDem lawmaker says 'adversity score' shows debate over 'usefulness' of SAT is 'not over' CBC member brushes off Biden's past opposition to school busing Dem lawmaker says U.S. has 'drifted backwards' on school integration MORE (D) said Friday night that Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) past behavior appearing in a photo showing blackface and a Ku Klux Klan robe is "indefensible," joining a slew of Democrats condemning the photo.

“It is never easy to condemn a personal friend, but Governor Northam’s past behavior is indefensible. I know the Governor has dedicated his life to public service, and he has advanced policies to help African Americans and Virginians from all walks of life," Scott, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement.

"I take him at his word that he is deeply sorry, and that he understands that his behavior was inappropriate and offensive. History will have to judge his life and public record, and this chapter will be a major stain on that record," he added.

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Scott did not explicitly call for Northam to resign, but said in his statement that "the Governor must now make the right decision that is best for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Several Virginia lawmakers have called for the first-term governor to step down in the wake of the photo, including Democratic Reps. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinOvernight Energy: Trump moves forward with rule on California drilling | House panel advances bill that resumes participation in Paris climate fund | Perry pressed on 'environmental justice' | 2020 Dem proposes climate corps Perry, asked about environmental justice, talks about electricity prices David Bernhardt confirmed as new Interior chief MORE⁩, Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaHouse Dems launch Servicewomen and Women Veterans caucus New group aims to support female veteran Democratic candidates Virginia special prosecutor indicts former GOP campaign staffer MORE and Alison Spanberger along with GOP Rep. Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate Overnight Health Care: Lawmakers get deal to advance long-stalled drug pricing bill | House votes to condemn Trump's anti-ObamaCare push | Eight House Republicans join with Dems | Trump officials approve Medicaid expansion in Maine The 8 Republicans who voted against Trump's anti-ObamaCare push MORE⁩.

Multiple Democratic presidential candidates and other political figures from both parties have denounced the governor after a photo emerged Friday from Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook showing a man in blackface and another wearing a KKK robe.

Northam issued a statement Friday night acknowledging that he was one of the people in the photo, though he did not clarify which one.

The governor has so far resisted mounted calls to resign.

"That photo and the racist and offensive attitude it represents does not reflect the person I am today or the way I have conducted myself as a soldier, a doctor and a public servant," Northam said in a video posted on Twitter on Friday night.

"I accept responsibility for my past actions and I'm ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust. I have spent the past year as your governor fighting for a Virginia that works better for all people. I am committed to continuing that fight through the remainder of my term."