WASHINGTON — Amid a backdrop of scandal involving Virginia’s governor over a racist yearbook photo, Ralph Northam’s would-be successor addressed questions of his own over what he said was “a false and unsubstantiated allegation” against him.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax told reporters Monday that it’s no coincidence he’s being “smeared” by a “completely uncorroborated accusation” of sexual assault right before potentially taking over the role of governor.
“I don’t know precisely where this is coming from. We’ve heard different things, but here’s the thing: Does anybody think it’s any coincidence that on the eve of potentially my being elevated, that’s when this uncorroborated smear comes out?” Fairfax said.
The allegation was published Sunday night by the same website that uncovered the Ralph Northam yearbook photo days earlier. Fairfax tweeted out a denial later Sunday.
That denial mentions that The Washington Post had declined to publish the allegations. In a story Monday afternoon, The Post contradicted Fairfax, saying that its decision to not publish wasn’t due to “significant red flags and inconsistencies” per the Fairfax statement. Instead, they said, it was due to a lack of corroboration.
The allegation in question centers on an encounter between Fairfax, then 25, with the accuser during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Fairfax was then a campaign staffer for presidential nominee John Kerry.
“I was 25 years old, unmarried, a campaign staffer at the time. We hit it off. She was very interested in me,” he told reporters, and said the encounter was “100 percent consensual.”
On Monday morning, Fairfax tweeted a reference to the Bible verse Ephesians 6:11 — “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
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