Here are conservatives defending Roy Moore on molestation claim

Allegations that Roy Moore pursued relationships with teenagers and molested one 14-year-old girl sent shockwaves through the upcoming Alabama Senate race, creating uncertainty over what will happen with the Republican’s candidacy in the month until voting.

Moore, now 70, denied wrongdoing and said that a piece in the Washington Post, where Leigh Corfman detailed the then-32-year-old official taking her back to his home, was a coordinated attack against his campaign.

Many of his fellow GOP members quickly distanced themselves from the “disturbing" allegations against the Christian conservative, with leaders such as Arizona Sen. John McCain saying that he should “immediately step aside.”

President Trump was cautious in saying that the claims were a “mere allegation” but also said that he “believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”

But in a jarring show of politics, some Republicans in Alabama and across the country took to Moore’s side and said that they would continue to support him:

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Conservatives defending Roy Moore on molestation claim
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Conservatives defending Roy Moore on molestation claim

Sean Hannity

But those trying to contextualize Moore’s actions reached outside of would-be voters in Alabama all the way to New York City and the studios of Fox News.

Sean Hannity said on his radio show Thursday that Moore’s actions were “consensual,” though later backtracked and said that he was “not totally clear.”

He said Thursday night that the remark was referring to the teenagers who were of legal age, rather than Corfman, and blamed other media for taking him out of context.

Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler

Ziegler garnered his own set of headlines in the wake of the accusation by saying there was “nothing to see here” and offering a bizarre explanation relating the alleged molestation to the birth of Christ.

“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” he told the Washington Examiner.

“Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

Despite the fact that the age of consent was and is 16 in Alabama, Ziegler, who was active in opposing Moore’s more mainstream primary challenger Luther Strange, said that “nothing immoral or illegal” took place and that it was “maybe just a little bit unusual.”

Breitbart editor Joel Pollack

Others in the most conservative corners of media also tried to diminish the allegations that a sexual crime against a child had occurred by saying that other parts of the story were not criminal.

Pollack appeared on MSNBC with Ali Velshi on Thursday, saying that the relationships between a man in his 30s and a 16, 17 or 18-year-old.

“There are several cases mentioned and of those cases, only one would be legally problematic,” he said.

“All of the others were legal relationships with women who were of age at the time when Roy Moore was single.”

Alabama county chairmen

Moore also continued to receive support from others in his state, one of whom told a reporter that he would vote for Moore even if he knew for certain that the abuse took place.

“I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn’t want to vote for Doug [Jones],” Bibb County chairman Jerry Pow told the Toronto Star.

His counterpart in Covington County, William Blocker similarly said there was “no option” to support Jones, a Democrat trailing by double-digits in a late October poll.

Geneva county chairman Riley Siebenhener and Marion County chairman David Hall also both downplayed the importance of the allegations to the Star, with Siebenhener saying that Moore “didn’t really force himself.”

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