Roy Moore Joins Sean Hannity Radio Show As He Denies Allegations In Washington Post Report : The Two-Way : NPR
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Updated at 7:57 p.m. ET
Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is continuing to deny a Thursday Washington Post report detailing allegations that he initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
But in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on his radio show Friday afternoon, Moore did not outright deny dating teenagers when he was in his 30s, giving several conflicting answers after being pressed by Hannity.
When Hannity asked Moore if he had ever dated 16-, 17- or 18-year-olds, he answered “not generally, no” and added that dating a girl in her late teens “would have been out of my customary behavior.”
“I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother,” Moore also said.
Later the former Alabama chief justice said he did not recall ever dating a girl in her late teens and agreed that it would have been “inappropriate.”
Moore vehemently denied ever knowing Leigh Corfman, the woman who went on the record, along with her mother, to detail to the Post the alleged assault at the age of 14, which was consistent and was corroborated by friends and records, the Post says. She described meeting Moore, who was then an assistant district attorney, at the courthouse in Etowah County, Ala., where he offered to watch her while her mother attended a custody hearing. Days later he took her home and removed their clothes, she said, touching her over her underwear and placing her hand on his underwear-clad genitals. The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
But he did admit to knowing two of the women also named in the Post report — Debbie Wesson Gibson, who says she was 17 when Moore asked her out after speaking to her high school civics class and that they dated for a few months, and Gloria Thacker Deason, who says she and Moore dated off and on when she was 18 and he was 32 after meeting at the mall.
Moore told Hannity that when he returned to Alabama from the military he “dated a lot of young ladies” but did not remember whether he dated either of those two women and didn’t remember “specific dates.”
Deason also told the Post that during a dinner date she believes Moore gave her alcohol when she was under the then-legal drinking age of 19. Moore also denied that.
Just ahead of his interview Friday with Hannity, Moore’s campaign put out a statement more pointed than its reactions Thursday night:
I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct. As a father of a daughter and a grandfather of five granddaughters, I condemn the actions of any man who engages in sexual misconduct not just against minors but against any woman.
I also believe that any person who has been abused should feel the liberty to come forward and seek protection.
I know that a lot of people wonder why this story was written. Why would women say these things if they are not true? I can’t fully answer that because as much as I have disagreed vehemently on political issues with many people over the years, I cannot understand the mentality of using such a dangerous lie to try to personally destroy someone.
As a former Judge and administer of the law, I take the protection of our innocent as one of my most sacred callings. False allegations are gravely serious and will have a profound consequence on those who are truly harassed or molested.
Republican officials in Alabama and across the country have had mixed responses to the allegations against Moore. Some politicians are casting doubt on the women’s stories, while others are expressing dismay — and, in some cases, Republican officials are defending Moore’s alleged actions as not problematic at all.
Alabama Covington County GOP Chairman William Blocker tells me Democrats convinced these women to tell a fake story to damage Moore.
I told him the 14-year-old became a Trump voter.
“That’s the typical background or profile of somebody they would be using for that,” he said.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
The Post‘s report was based on interviews with 30 people. None of the four women approached the newspaper, the Post says; reporters reached out to them after hearing rumors about Moore’s behavior in the ’70s and ’80s.
Moore’s campaign has described the allegations as a Democratic attempt to undermine his bid for the Senate, ahead of the special election on Dec. 12. (The Post said none of the four women have donated to or worked for Moore’s Democratic opponent in the race, Doug Jones.)