Congressional Black Caucus leaders call on Northam to resign

Congressional Black Caucus leaders call on Northam to resign
© Stefani Reynolds

Reps. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassBiden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying Omar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia Democrats face daunting hurdles despite promising start MORE (D-Calif.) and A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinEnd the practice of hitting children in public schools Political disenfranchisement is fueling environmental injustice White House names members of environmental justice panel MORE (D-Va.), who are leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), on Sunday called on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to resign.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," McEachin — the CBC whip — said Northam has "lost the authority to lead" following the revelation that his medical school yearbook page featured a photo of a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

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"He’s lost the authority to govern. [Resigning is] in the best interest of the commonwealth. It’s in the best interest of the party," he added.

Northam has so far defied calls to resign from a range of current and former lawmakers. He denied on Saturday that he is in the picture after indicating Friday that he was one of the two people in the photograph.

Bass, the CBC chair, said on "Meet the Press" that Northam has been "completely dishonest and disingenuous."

"He knew this picture was there and he could have come clean and talked to African-Americans that he’s close to decades ago. And I think given the overall climate around race in this country, especially over the last two years, it’s completely unacceptable," Bass said.

"He needs to resign immediately to stop the pain in Virginia," she added.

McEachin added that he's "certainly grateful" for the contributions Northam has made as governor, but added that his resignation is necessary for the state to heal.

“We’re certainly grateful for the contributions he’s made to the betterment of Virginia, but the question now is, can you lead? Can you help us heal? And given the actions he’s demonstrated over the past 48 hours, the answer’s clearly no," McEachin said.