Trying to preempt a bombshell story with accusations of child molestation, Alabama GOP nominee Roy Moore went to Steve Bannon's Breitbart to try to head off the news story.
Roy Moore, the Republican Party's senate candidate in Alabama, went to Steve Bannon's Breitbart in an attempt to head off accusations of child molestation that are now surfacing.
Moore has been an icon of the conservative movement for years. He has beat the drum in opposition to marriage equality between consenting adults, claiming it would lead to "multiple marriages" or possibly "marriages between men and their daughters or women and their sons."
Moore now stands accused of child molestation, and has been caught desperately trying to get his conservative allies to cover up the bombshell news story for him.
An email inquiry from a Washington Post reporter was forwarded to Breitbart, which quickly put together a story defending Moore. The right-wing propaganda site positioned the serious allegations against Moore as coming after the Post's editorial board endorsed Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate.
But the effort is likely to backfire, and underlines the seriousness of the claims against Moore.
The Post reports that Leigh Corfman says that when she was 14 years old, Moore, who was 32 at the time, "told her how pretty she was and kissed her." In another visit with Moore, the paper reports that she says he "took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes" and "guided her hand to touch him over his underwear."
Three other women also told the paper that when they were between the ages of 16 and 18, Moore pursued them with sexual intentions. The paper interviewed the women, documenting a pattern of predatory behavior based on their recollections of what Moore did.
The Post reports that all four women were "reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore."
The Post's report is based on weeks of investigation and interviews with dozens of people.
The conservative movement has mobilized behind Moore in the contest to take the open Senate seat in Alabama. Bannon pushed in favor of Moore during the primary, while the Trump White House pushed for Luther Strange, who currently holds the seat.
Other influential conservatives, like Sarah Palin and former Trump staffer (and Nazi sympathizer) Sebastian Gorka have also been a part of the Moore push.
Trump lost that battle within the conservative family, and thanks to Moore's extremist past, opened up a path to victory for the Democrats.
The actions described by the women run in strong contrast to Democrat Jones and his work with children. Jones prosecuted the Klansmen who killed 4 little girls at 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama. He described his work on that case as "the most important thing I have done."
Moore denied the allegations, and gave the paper a conspiratorial denial noting, "These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign."
He also echoed Donald Trump, who has similarly been accused of serial sexual assault, characterizing the news story as "fake news."
If Moore's combative language follows Trump's pattern, there is the strong possibility that what has been described as "fake" is very true.
His strategic decision to have Breitbart and the Steve Bannon wing of the Republican Party try to deflect the story on his behalf shows fear on Moore's part.
The right-wing culture warrior is in hot water, and is relying on the demonstrated comfort within Republican Party ranks on sexual assault to help him out.