Some Republicans are going to extreme lengths to defend Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore against allegations that he molested one teenager and preyed on at least three more.
Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Alabama Senate, begged Breitbart to help him fend off a devastating story accusing him of sexually assaulting and harassing teenagers. And Breitbart is doing everything it can to help.
The far-right website run by Steve Bannon — white supremacist, former strategist to Donald Trump, and fervent Moore supporter — first ran a story trying to pre-empt the Washington Post report.
Then Joel B. Pollak went on MSNBC to further defend the heinous allegations against Moore, describing the accounts of three women as “legal relationships” that were perfectly acceptable because “Roy Moore was single” at the time.
All of the women who spoke with the Washington Post were teenagers at the time that Moore, then in his 30s, approached them.
“Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall,” reports the Washington Post, “when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade.”
That, according to Breitbart’s Pollak, constitutes a “legal relationship” that is not “problematic.
POLLACK: I don’t think we’ve said anything about that that would suggest we condone it. What I would say and point out is that what’s really interesting in the Washington Post article is that they say “teenagers” — in fact, you repeated that at the start of the segment — when, if you read the article, there are several cases mentioned, and of those cases, only one would have been legally problematic. All of the others were legal relationships with women who were of age at a time when Roy Moore was single.
Pollak is completely and disgracefully wrong in his attempt to defend the very serious allegations against Moore. Each of the women was a teenager at the time, and preying on a 14-year-old is certainly “legally problematic.”
But Pollak is not the only conservative trying to excuse Moore’s behavior.
Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler dismissed the allegations, saying “there is nothing to see here.”
One of the women says that Moore molested her when she was 14, undressing her and himself, and then touching “her over her bra and underpants,” and then making her “touch him over his underwear.”
Ziegler went even further in his defense of Moore’s behavior.
“Take Joseph and Mary,” he said. “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Claiming that Moore’s alleged assault of a teenager is somehow comparable to the birth of Jesus is ridiculous and shameful — not to mention biblically inaccurate.
While some Senate Republicans have called on Moore to drop out of the race if the allegations are true, none of them have gone further and said they would fight to keep Moore out of the Senate, should he win the special election in December.
And none of them have called for the removal of Donald Trump, who not only has been accused of sexual harassment and assault, but was actually caught on tape admitting it.
Republicans have a very serious problem on their hands and in their party when they cannot unequivocally condemn such behavior, regardless of who the predator is. Even — or perhaps especially — when that man is president of the United States.