Allies of the Alabama Republican are desperately trying to portray allegations against him as being part of a coordinated, political smear campaign. But the spin just doesn't add up.
Outside of the fevered swamps of the far-right media, Alabama Republican Roy Moore is in short supply of defenders, even after Donald Trump endorsed the accused child molester for Senate on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Ed Martin, the president of the conservative Eagle Forum Fund, appeared on CNN with John Berman and Poppy Harlow, and tried to make the case that the mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore, as first revealed by the Washington Post, are all political and part of a coordinated campaign to smear the Republican.
"[T]he women were presented by Gloria Allred and others as a political argument to try to to damage Moore," Martin claimed.
"No, no, no, no, no, no….." Berman interjected, stopping Martin before he could get any further with his lies.
While Gloria Allred is representing one of Moore's accusers, she had nothing to do with why nine women came forward with the allegations — and she wasn't even involved until after the Washington Post published the first accusations, as Berman made clear in the exchange with Martin.
MARTIN: In this case, again I agree with you, the women were presented by Gloria Allred and others as a political argument to try to to damage Moore.
BERMAN: No, no, no, no, no, no…..
HARLOW: That's not how it happened.
BERMAN: First of all Ed, I want to step in, Gloria Allred happened after the Washington Post came forward with these women and these stories, one of whom we've now heard say she didn't come forward at all until she was approached — These are people who came forward because of Roy Moore running and because they were approached by the Post. They say there was nothing political about this.
MARTIN: That's not how anyone who knows politics 40 days before the elections sees a roll out of charge that includes Gloria Allred.
HARLOW: It doesn't matter if it's a fact, Ed. We know the facts.
Later, Berman stressed, "If you followed the history of sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual harassment discussions in this country over time, you talk about the church, you talk about other places, sometimes it takes years for people to have the courage to come forward. that's just how it goes. it doesn't have to be political."
If anything, the allegations against the Alabama Republican have been utterly free of partisan politics from the beginning. In fact, the women who are accusing Moore are mostly Republicans who voted for Trump, and they agreed to tell their stories when they found out that other women had similar experiences.
As Leigh Corfman told Savannah Guthrie on Monday's "Today" show, she has been telling people her Roy Moore assault story for years — her relatives, her friends, her children — but it was only when she spoke with the Post and realized she wasn't the only one that she decided to tell the whole world.
Note also, that if Democratic or Republican operatives had been in charge of rolling out the stunning story of Moore's accusers, they likely would have scheduled the scandal to break four days before the election to score maximum political damage — not 40 days ahead of time.
As Harlow said, "We know the facts." And on all accounts, Martin's spin just doesn't add up.