Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who has denied accusations of sexual assault from two women while rebuffing calls to step down, compared himself to Jim Crow-era lynching victims during an impromptu speech in the state Senate on Sunday, the AP reports.

The big picture: After his speech as he presided over the end of the 2019 Senate session, "stunned senators sat in awkward silence," per the AP. It came just days after state Republicans proposed their plan to hold a public hearing for Fairfax and his accusers — Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson — to testify regarding the claims.

Fairfax's full quote, via the AP:

"I’ve heard much about anti-lynching on the floor of this very Senate, where people were not given any due process whatsoever, and we rue that. And we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia under those very same auspices. And yet we stand here in a rush to judgment with nothing but accusations and no facts and we decide that we are willing to do the same thing."

Go deeper: A global male leadership crisis

Go deeper

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 11,514,395 — Total deaths: 535,453 — Total recoveries — 6,223,819Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 2,910,023 — Total deaths: 130,090 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots
  4. States: Cuomo accuses Trump of "enabling" the coronavirus surge — West Virginia becomes latest state to mandate facial coverings.
  5. Politics: Meadows says Trump "is right" to claim 99% of coronavirus cases are "harmless."

Amy Cooper charged for calling police on Black bird-watcher in Central Park

A white woman who called 911 to accuse a Black man of threatening her life in Central Park in March faces misdemeanor charges for making a false report, the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced Monday.

The big picture: The May 25 incident, which was caught on film, was one of several viral episodes that helped catalyze massive Black Lives Matter protests against the police killings of Black people in the U.S.

McEnany defends Trump's tweet about Bubba Wallace and Confederate flag

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press briefing Monday that President Trump "was not making a judgment one way or the other" about NASCAR's decision to ban the Confederate flag and that his attack on Bubba Wallace was an attempt to stand up for NASCAR fans who are unfairly painted as racist.

The state of play: McEnany was repeatedly grilled by reporters over the president's inflammatory tweet, in which he demanded that NASCAR's only Black driver apologize after the FBI determined that he was not a target of a hate crime and claimed that ratings had dropped after the sport banned the Confederate flag at its events.