A Breitbart News editor came to Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s defense on Thursday after the Washington Post reported that Moore pursued relationships with several teenage girls decades ago.
“If you read the article, there are several cases mentioned, and of those cases only one would have been legally problematic,” Breitbart editor-at-large Joel Pollak told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi. “All of the others are of legal relationships with women who were of age at a time when Roy Moore was single.”
One woman who told the Post that Moore “guided her hand to touch him over his underwear,” said she was 14 when she first encountered the then-assistant district attorney, who was 32 at the time.
The other three women to whom the Post spoke were between 16 and 18 years old during their encounters with Moore, though one woman first met him when she was 14. The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
“If this story is true — and I think that any story about sexual misconduct, especially with someone who is underage, is very serious — why would the Washington Post wrap it with all kinds of perfectly legitimate relationships as well as all kinds of other political clutter?” Pollak asked Velshi.
He added later: “You said yourself at the start of the segment that he’s being accused of relationships with teenagers. Now, to me, that’s not accurate.”
“The 16-year-old and the 18-year-old have no business in that story, because those are women of legal age of consent,” he said.
Moore has faced calls from several Republican senators to withdraw his candidacy for Senate if the story is true. Moore put out a defiant statement after the Washington Post published its story.
Pollak said of the claim that Moore engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old: “If that turns out to be true, then he’s really got some serious problems and I think that we need to drill down and find out what that is.”
Breitbart reported first on the allegations against Moore, citing a request for comment that included the allegations that the Post sent to the senate candidate. The far-right news outlet’s piece on the allegations was largely defensive, characterizing the Post’s reporting as a political smear.
Breitbart Editor: “There’s only one relationship alleged that was problematic.” pic.twitter.com/ZK8EV0Y3vn
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 9, 2017