Trump predicts tumult among Democrats in Virginia will turn the state red in 2020
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump predicted Thursday that the tumult involving Virginia's top three Democrats would help him carry the state in 2020 and said "far stronger action" would be taken if the politicians involved were Republicans.
"Democrats at the top are killing the Great State of Virginia," Trump wrote on Twitter. "If the three failing pols were Republicans, far stronger action would be taken. Virginia will come back HOME Republican) in 2020!"
His tweet referred to controversies threatening the careers of Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring, all Democrats.
Herring acknowledged Wednesday that he dressed in blackface during college. That added to the drama fueled by the emergence of a racist photo from Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook and an allegation of sexual assault by Herring in 2004, which he has steadfastly denied.
Trump did not spell out what actions would be taken if the three men were Republicans or who would initiate the actions.
Northam has faced widespread calls for his resignation. Those calls have been tempered in recent days, however, as the controversies emerged involving Fairfax and Herring, the next two officials in line to succeed him.
Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women and his statements related to race have been criticized on several occasions, including his response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. He has denied both the sexual misconduct allegations and all accusations of racism.
Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Virginia in the 2016 presidential election, winning 49.8 percent of the vote, while Trump took 44.4 percent.
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., an evangelical leader and Trump ally, also weighed in on the controversies, writing on Twitter on Wednesday night that Northam, Fairfax and Herring "are all an embarrassment" to Virginia.
"My family has lived in VA since the 1600s. VA would never elect people like Northam, Fairfax, Herring, Warner or Kaine without the votes of federal gov employees in NOVA," Falwell wrote in a tweet that also referred to the state's two Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
"They are all an embarrassment to VA & the Founders never intended the Dist of Columbia to sprawl out into VA!" Falwell said.
This article was written by John Wagner, a reporter for The Washington Post.