Politicians and advocacy groups have been calling on Virginia governor Ralph Northam to resign, in light of a racist photo that has surfaced from Northam’s medical school yearbook page. The yearbook page, from Northam’s time at Eastern Virginia Medical School, includes a photo of two people standing side by side: one of them is wearing a Klansman’s hood, and the other is wearing blackface. Northam released a statement after the yearbook surfaced, apologizing “for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision cost then and now.”
But Fox News contributor Dan Bongino said that in fact, he had a copy of the yearbook as far back as October 2018. And, he said, other journalists were probably sent copies of the disturbing yearbook page as well. If true, this might raise questions about why the photos took so long to surface. Bongino wrote, “I was sent the disgusting photo of Northam in Oct, 2018. I was not able to independently verify that the photo was of Northam therefore I did not publish the story. But,this indicates that the photo was probably known about by others who may have squashed it for political reasons.” Bongino, a Fox News contributor and former Republican candidate for Congress, did not offer any proof that he had been sent a copy of the yearbook page. Instead, Bongino made the claim in a tweet, without offering to verify it.
Before he got into politics, Bongino spent 12 years as a Secret Service agent, protecting President George W Bush and then President Obama. Bongino said he decided to hand in his badge and retire from the Secret Service after he became disgusted with the Obama administration’s handling of health care.
“If there was one event that helped make up my mind, the most visceral was the Obamcare debate. The public doesn’t have any idea how many deals were cut on that. The Republican Party has a reputation for being the party of big business, but you wouldn’t think that if you saw the Obamacare debate. So many people were sold out, and so many sold out, it’s disgusting,” Bongino told ABC.
Governor Northam Initially Said He Was ‘Deeply Sorry’ for the Yearbook Photo & Then Reportedly Said He Wasn’t in the Photo After All
The yearbook page from Governor Northam’s medical school was first published on February 1. Shortly afterwards, Northam released a statement appearing to admit that he had appeared in the photo. He apologized for the “hurt” he had caused but did not say he would resign as governor of Virginia. The statement read, in part, “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. This behavior is not in keeping with whom 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. I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their governor.” You can read the full statement here.
But by Saturday, Governor Northam was reportedly telling his fellow Democrats that he was not, in fact, one of the people pictured in the racist yearbook photo. The New York Times reported that Northam was making calls to Democrats to say that he wasn’t in the photograph and had no plans to resign.