Gov. Northam refuses to resign over yearbook photos despite bipartisan pressure

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he is not pictured in the racist photo in his yearbook page, but wore blackface while performing as Michael Jackson at a 1980s dance contest.
8:22 | 02/04/19

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Transcript for Gov. Northam refuses to resign over yearbook photos despite bipartisan pressure
And we're gonna start you off with a big story everyone is talking about today Virginia governor well north them. And the question about whether or not he will resign after those races photos appeared of some money in black face standing next to a kkk Klan member. North and originally said that he would in that photo and apologize over the weekend he said that it what town. And now it looks like he may in fact. Turn around and resigned that is the big question today he had said he wasn't going to but again he has changed his mind on several things. In the last several hours. As this case has continued in somebody who has been there at the center of it all asking tough questions of the governor Zachary did you bring in now Zachary Tulloch. What is the chance that governor elect him will now resign. Well it certainly it will fourth well good morning to you certainly there is a chance that he could resign are one of our affiliates here is. Reporting that he is open to the idea but hasn't made any determination yet we do know that the governor was meeting with some high level staffers last night he also had a cabinet meeting this morning. At about 9 o'clock again we haven't heard that any determination has been made in term. In terms of whether or not he will resign at this point in time it's kind of back up and give you guys a timeline. Of how this whole thing played out obviously Friday this photo emerged. It shows the two gentlemen. It would appear to be two gentlemen to people certainly. One in black face when he Kate Kate Kate garb. Just to preface where this was found this was. In the yearbook. Your book of governor north comes from med school. This wasn't just in annual pages was in the section. That did that was he is right so. Think about this is in terms of like a particular class or group might have their own page for you select your own photos your quotes. Limited back front about yourself way to represent yourself this was found along with a collection of other photos and quotes. It initially the governor said. I don't miss this and I acknowledge that this is wrong he took accountability. He appeared to to to really try to. Take some ownership as I city get out of headed this but around the big question then on Friday night was which one is he. Right which one is see if he's acknowledging that he's in this photo which when Izzy that we began to hurt here on Saturday morning. That he was doing an about face from that be heard that he was now saying. That after. Close consideration. He had come to the determination. That it was not here there was a press conference since the governor's mansion just behind me here it was an unbelievable scene a packed room. Let me hear some sound from that in his explanation. Of how he came to the determination. That this was not him. I was appalled that they appeared on my page. But I believe then and now that I am not either of the people. In that photo. He went on to begin try to provide some perspective right it was almost like they're. Process of elimination right he. Had gathered with these. Friends and family he had made some calls to to former classmates had come to the determination. That it wasn't him and part of the way that he came to his determination part of this narrative restore linemen he provided was that. He had in fact warn. Black face and it wasn't on the so case and he wore black face is part of a dress up. It was a Michael Jackson competition it happened in San Antonio Texas it. Coincidentally. Was about the same timeframe of his life. And so he's giving this explanation and a reporter asked a question that almost seemed out of line at the time right. Can you still do the moonwalk right he's talking about the glove in the shoes in the shoe polish to be put on its face and so this reporter asked the question it was fascinating because the governor appeared. To consider. Actually doing the moonwalk keep you looked at the space in front of the podium. We were stunned in the room and then he looked at his of his wife Renee Renee go to that sound now. I dressed up in. With me. Michael Jackson feud that far ahead Pam with. I head the shoes I had a a glove. And I he's just a little bit a shoe polish to put undermine our all my cheeks. And the reason I use a very little bit is because I don't know about ever tried that but you cannot get shoe polish off but but it was it was a dance contest to. I had always life. Michael Jackson. I actually won the contest because I had learned how to do the moon wall. He very looked at his wife and of course she waves him off says it's inappropriate. I asked a series of questions in that room. In one of my questions and was a question that I've heard as so many times. Should you be concerned. That you don't know the black face is wrong even you didn't have a general sense. That this was the wrong thing to do you gotta keep in mind it. Part of the explanation on on Saturday part of what we heard from the governor. Is that he hadn't extra ordinary kind of understanding of race and people who were differently than any different than him because of his. Unique life experience that's that's good that somebody. Do you think is a grown adult habit it's problematic that you need to haven't explained to you. They're black face is offensive. No. You know I'm not a person Carl. And and people of color. Experienced different things it affects them different ways. Now that you've written the governor there are talking about how difficult it was tinted. Get that black face a line and take a shoe polish off did you and anything with that joke about. Whether or not he could still moonwalk in him almost appearing like he was going to do it. Did you think the sense as an African American man questioning the governor in that moment that he still didn't fully understand. Why people were outraged about this. Who alana I mean it's it's clear that he doesn't fully understand the weight of this. You know it's interesting a lot of people. A lot of people have turned their back on him right a lot of people in the Democratic Party and he was once viewed as somebody who was. Kind of a rising star even Obama. Cosigned for him and supported him I'm reminded of something that Obama said during his presidency to the effective. When it comes to race in talking about race in this country that that we are cowards that we don't want to talk about it. I think the important thing to look at with this particular story is context this is an about me is a black man or. Or anybody else individually it's about the conversations that were willing to have about. Race in this country and of course the governor is a lightning rod Wright he. He has become. In outlived 444. They're hurt in the pain. That so many people have in this country as it relates to race put. You gotta keep in mind that. Progress never seems fast enough certainly for those of us who stand to it to to benefit. From the progress but there has been incredible strides made in this country as it relates to race of the last fifty or sixty years and it and I'm here to say that the governor. Is not alone in terms of the maturation or the growth of the growth that you'd hope. As it as it relates to race in this country it's it's it's it's one thing to have these photos published in the book. It's another to hold those feelings in your head or your heart. But we really need to use this is an opportunity I believe in this country to really confront race in a real way because at the end of the day. When the governor and stays in office or resigns in less we are willing to confront race in to address these deep seeded issues. It really won't have a big impact on Virginians. Or the country as a whole. Zachary quiche excellent reporting out there you're so right valuable conversations tough conversations. But ones that help bend us. Towards justice thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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