February 12, 2019 1:39 am

Trump on Virginia governor’s blackface controversy: ‘I like him, keeps us out of the papers’

President Trump criticized Virginia Governor Ralph Northam for wearing blackface and for his stance on late term abortions at a MAGA rally in El Paso, Texas on Monday.

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U.S. President Donald Trump found some relief in the controversy that has ensnared Virginia’s governor, after it emerged that his 1984 medical school yearbook entry had a picture of two people – one dressed in blackface, the other in a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) robe.

Trump joked about Northam’s situation at a rally in El Paso Monday night.

“I like him, keeps us out of the papers, I like it,” Trump said, to laughs from his audience.

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The controversy began when media outlets reported that the picture appeared with Northam’s yearbook entry.

Northam initially admitted that he was in the photo and apologized, but later said he wasn’t in the picture.

He has refused to resign.

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However, Northam admitted at a news conference that he wore blackface to impersonate Michael Jackson at a dance conference in 1984.

At that press conference, he was asked, “are you still able to moonwalk?”

This is how he responded, according to CBS News:

“Uh. (Off cam: inappropriate circumstances) My wife says, inappropriate circumstances.”

Trump mocked that, too.

“He almost moonwalked, his wife stopped him,” Trump said.

“Darling, darling, it would be inappropriate. I want to see somebody try and imitate Michael Jackson in the moonwalk, this would not have been a good scene. His wife saved him.”

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Trump went on to criticize Northam for comments he made about late-term abortion — something the president previously did in a series of tweets on Saturday night.

In an “Ask the Governor” segment with WTOP Radio, which was posted to YouTube late last month, Northam was asked whether he supported a measure proposed by Kathy Tran, a member for Fairfax County in Virginia’s House of Delegates, which would lift restrictions on abortions that happen in the third trimester.

An interviewer said, “she was pressed by a Republican delegate about whether her bill would permit an abortion even as a woman is, essentially, dilating, ready to give birth. And she answered that it would permit an abortion at that stage of labour. Do you support her measure? And explain her answer.”

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Northam responded that third-trimester abortions are performed with the consent of the mother and of more than one doctor.

“And it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that’s non-viable,” he said.

“So in this particular example, if a mother is in labour, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

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Trump targeted those comments on Monday night, saying, “the governor stated that he would even allow a newborn baby to come out into the world, and wrap the baby and make the baby comfortable, and then talk to the mother and talk to the father, and then execute the baby.”

The remarks drew massive boos from the president’s audience.

“Millions of innocent, beautiful babies are counting on us to protect them, and we will,” Trump said.

The president went on to say that he has called on Congress to come up with a bill that would ban late-term abortions.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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