Video, Pics Show Gavin Newsom Maskless for Far More than a ‘Brief Second’

Gavin Newsom
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom explained away the viral photo of him posing maskless alongside basketball star Magic Johnson, saying that he was just “trying to be gracious.”

Speaking with reporters on Monday, Newsom said that he kept his mask on throughout his time at the NFC Championship game on Sunday and that he only removed his mask for a photo with Laker legend Magic Johnson when he asked for one.

“I was very judicious yesterday, very judicious,” said Newsom. “And you’ll see the photo that I did take where Magic was kind enough, generous enough to ask me for a photograph, and in my left hand is a mask, and I took a photo. The rest of the time, I wore it as we all should. Not when I had a glass of water. I encourage everyone else to do so. And that’s it.”

When asked if perhaps he should have been more thoughtful about how the photo could be perceived, Newsom said he was just trying to be gracious.

“I was trying to be gracious, and I made a mist—you know, I mean I was trying to be gracious and took the mask off for a brief second. But no, I encourage people to continue to wear them,” he said.

While Newsom claims that he was “judicious” about wearing his mask throughout the day, photos and videos circulating online showed a different picture. It should also be noted that in the image of him and Magic Johnson, the people around them were also maskless.

It also appears, in this video shared by Outkick’s Clay Travis, that Newsom had his mask off as he approached Johnson, not just for a “brief second” before taking a picture.

In this picture, shared by journalist Emily Hoeven, Newsom is, again, maskless.

During the fall of 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom kept restaurants from serving food indoors and at full capacity, a rule that prompted cries of hypocrisy after photos leaked of him attending an in-person dinner at Napa’s luxurious French Laundry restaurant. Award-winning journalist Adam Housley — a previous Emmy, AP, and RTNDA recipient — claimed that the maskless dinner had 22 guests and ran up a bar bill of over $15k.

“Because Yountville is my hometown..and where the French Laundry is located…I thought I’d do some digging. Facts about the Newsom dinner. The bar bill was around 15-thousand. 22 people in attendance, not 12. No masks. All indoors. They got so loud, other patrons complained,” Housley tweeted.

“There was ‘zero effort’ to go outside, and there was no social distancing of any type. I’m also told some of those there are now privately laughing at the controversy. Remember this is my little hometown. The walls speak,” he added.

Newsom apologized for the optics.

“Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back, got in my car, and drove back to my house,” Newsom said, adding that “we’re all human.”

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