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MTP EXCLUSIVE - CBC CHAIR REP. KAREN BASS: GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM HAS BEEN “COMPLETELY DISHONEST AND DISINGENUOUS,” “NEEDS TO RESIGN IMMEDIATELY”

ALSO – EXCLUSIVE WITH SEN. SHERROD BROWN: GOV. NORTHAM “SHOULD RESIGN NOW,” CAN CONTRIBUTE TO DIALOGUE “AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN”

PLUS – SEN. BROWN: “WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO IS A RACIST”

EXCLUSIVE ONE-ON-ONE WITH SEN. RICK SCOTT: “NOT MY FIRST CHOICE” TO DECLARE NATIONAL EMERGENCY TO BUILD BORDER WALL

FEB. 3, 2019Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said today on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has been “completely dishonest and disingenuous” and “needs to resign immediately” after a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page surfaced on Friday.

During the exclusive joint interview alongside Congressional Black Caucus Whip Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), Rep. Bass said Gov. Northam “knew this picture was there and he could have come clean and talked to African-Americans that he's close to decades ago” and that “he's forcing the wrong conversation. What he should do is resign and then if he has any integrity at all, he should participate in that conversation.”

Rep. McEachin also called for Gov. Northam to resign and said when he spoke to him on Friday that the governor “was apologetic for having been in the photograph” and that Rep. McEachin was surprised “when the next day he comes out and says it's not him.” Watch the full interview.

In an exclusive interview, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said he agreed with Congresswoman Bass and Congressman McEachin and that Gov. Northam “should remain in the public square by explaining and talking and working to heal. But he should do it from a position of private citizen … I think he should resign now. He then can contribute to this dialogue, but as I said he should do it as a private citizen.”

Sen. Brown also said that the “country hasn't dealt well with the issues of race” and that “we have a president who is a racist.”

“[President Trump] has built his political career knowing what he was doing on questioning the, the legitimacy and the birthplace of the President of the United States … [There] have been all kinds of news reports about what he did early in his career on housing ... We know the president doesn't tell the truth frequently. We know he lies frequently. And we know of his racial back -- racist comments and background.”

Sen. Brown is currently on a cross-country listening tour as he considers running for president. He said, “The dignity of work is, clearly, all workers in this country and if it's, it's a pitch to the broad numbers of people in this country that aren't treated well, that work hard every day and simply aren't getting ahead. If you love your country, you'll fight for the people who make it work, across all races. And that's the theme of my campaign if there -- if I do run for president, certainly the theme of the dignity of work.” Watch the full interview.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) also joined the program for an exclusive interview and remarked on President Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency to build a border wall saying, “I don’t think it’s the first thing you want to do is use your emergency power to do things like this, but if I was the president right now I'd be pretty frustrated.” He continued, “It’s not my first choice for him to use his emergency power” but he accused Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of “not negotiating with him in good faith.”

When asked about the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela and if President Trump should be more aggressive in forcing President Nicolás Maduro out of office, Sen. Scott said, “No. I think they've been clear. I think they've been clear that everything's on the table” and that he hopes “we never have to use military force. But everything's got to be on the table.” Watch the full interview.

NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson, President of Voto Latino and NBC News Contributor María Teresa Kumar, New York Times Magazine Chief National Correspondent, Author of Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times and NBC News Contributor Mark Leibovich, Editor of National Review Rich Lowry, and Washington Post columnist and NBC News Political Analyst Eugene Robinson joined the broadcast’s roundtable for insight and analysis on the week in politics. Watch the full panel.

Read the full transcript of Meet the Press this morning and follow the show on Twitter and on Facebook for the latest.

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