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Northam now claims he didn't appear in racist photo — and plans to go to extreme lengths to prove it

He does not plan to resign

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Despite admitting Friday that a controversial photo from his medical school yearbook included him, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is now saying that he is not pictured in the blackface-KKK photo that appeared on his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page.

What is Northam saying now?

After the photo surfaced Friday, Northam released an apology acknowledging that he appeared in the photo, which showed one man in blackface and another dressed in KKK garb. But now, Northam is telling his advisers and Virginia Democrats that he was not in the photo.

Virginia State Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D) told the Washington Post that Northam called her Saturday morning to explain his discovery.

"He should have said that yesterday then," she told the Post. "He just told me he didn't think it's him. And I said, 'Ralph, this is a day late and a dollar short. It's too late.'"

In fact, Northam is so certain that he is not pictured in the infamous photo that he has been calling former medical school classmates to "jog" their memories.

According to the New York Times, Northam has taken refuge in the executive residence of the Virginia governor's mansion, where he is surrounded by his top advisers. One state Democratic official told the Times that Northam is determined to prove he is not in the photo, even if it meant utilizing facial recognition software.

Northam is scheduled to address the media outside the governor's residence at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Political expert Larry Sabato said Northam's team originally contemplated a 1 p.m. press conference to announce Northam's resignation, but those plans were scrapped.

Meanwhile, the state's Democratic Party has officially demanded that Northam resign.

"We made the decision to let Governor Northam do the correct thing and resign this morning - we have gotten word he will not do so this morning," Virginia's Democratic Party said in a statement. "We stand with Democrats across Virginia and the country calling him to immediately resign. He no longer has our confidence or our support. Governor Northam must end this chapter immediately, step down, and let Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax heal Virginia's wounds and move us forward."


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