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By Dareh Gregorian and Hallie Jackson

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apologized Friday for appearing in a racially offensive photo on his medical school yearbook page that featured men in blackface and Ku Klux Klan robes.

“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive,” Northam, a Democrat, said in a statement. “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.”

He added, “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.

“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.”

The photo from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook ran alongside pictures of and personal information about Northam.

NBC verified the yearbook pictures with the school. NBC is not aware of the identities of both of the men in the picture in blackface or the Klan robes — although the governor’s statement confirms he is one or the other — but all the other photos on the page are clearly of Northam: one in a suit jacket, one in a cowboy hat where he is holding a beer, one sitting next to a Corvette.

Vincent Rhodes, chief communications officer for the school, said the production of the yearbook was a student activity, adding, “We don’t know when or where the picture was taken and we don’t know anything about its content.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, center, speaks about the Virginians for Reconciliation and Civility proclamation during a press conference inside the Pocahontas Building in Richmond, Virginia on Jan. 16, 2019.Bob Brown / Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

“Racism has no place in Virginia,” said Republican Party of Virginia chairman Jack Wilson in a statement before Northam apologized. “These pictures are wholly inappropriate. If Governor Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately.”

Republican state Sen. Bryce Reeves said in a statement to the Associated Press that Northam should resign if the reports of the photos are accurate.

“I hope that this picture is inaccurate and that the Governor brings clarity to this issue. This has no place in Virginia,” Reeves said before Northam apologized.

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro called on Northam to step down after his apology.

“It doesn’t matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. This behavior was racist and unconscionable. Governor Northam should resign,” he tweeted.

And the executive director of MoveOn.org, a progressive group, tweeted Friday night that Northam’s got to go.



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Trump says he’s ‘not even a little bit’ concerned about being impeached

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By Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday that he was not worried at all about impeachment, less than one week after a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was made public and talk of removing the president has been increasing among Democrats in Congress.

“Not even a little bit,” Trump said to reporters at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll when asked whether he was concerned about the possibility of impeachment.

Since the release of the Mueller’s findings, Democrats have been conflicted on what the next steps should be.

Some, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a 2020 presidential candidate, have called for the House to begin impeachment proceedings. But other Democrats have warned of the political risk of trying to remove the president.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has urged a wait-and-see approach so lawmakers have a chance to read the full Mueller report and supporting documents.

Trump also told reporters on Monday that he was not concerned about White House staffers ignoring his orders, even though the Mueller report details how aides sometimes refused to comply with the president’s directions to interfere with the special counsel investigation.

Most notably, the report states then-White House counsel Don McGahn refused to follow through with Trump’s request to pressure Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to remove Mueller.

“Nobody disobeys my orders,” Trump said to reporters on Monday.

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Labour's embarrassing Twitter blunder days after ’ASTONISHING’ Passover faux-pas 

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LABOUR made yet another embarrassing Twitter blunder the day after Jeremy Corbyn’s party outraged the Jewish community by posting an image that wished them a happy Passover with a loaf of bread in the picture. 

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Trump snubs John McCain during bill signing intended to honor him

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Congress wanted to honor the ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. President Donald Trump did not.

In extended remarks during a visit to Fort Drum in upstate New York to sign the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 — this year’s version of an annual bill that sets defense policy — Trump chose not to mention the former prisoner of war and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman who is battling brain cancer. He even omitted McCain’s name when citing the title of the bill.

The two men have long been fierce critics of each other, with McCain calling Trump’s supporters “crazies” in 2015 and Trump retaliating by questioning whether McCain, who was subjected to torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, is really a “war hero” because “he was captured.”

The snub at Fort Drum, home to the combat aviation brigade of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, did not escape the notice of McCain’s allies.

“For those asking did I expect Trump to be an a—— today. No more than I expected it to be Monday,” Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime aide, wrote on Twitter.

McCain’s condition — dire enough that a recent HBO documentary on him was titled “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” — has not stopped Trump from deriding the Arizona senator at political rallies. Though Trump does not use his name, he tells crowds that he would have been able to repeal Obamacare if not for a thumbs-down sign from one senator — McCain.

The senator’s own statement included Trump’s name in the headline and in a preamble written by staff. But the words attributed to McCain did not.

“I’m very proud that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 has been signed into law,” he said.

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