Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore refused to back down from allegations that he sexually molested a child and preyed on other teenagers and said he plans to dig up dirt on his accusers.
Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore responded to allegations that he sexually molested a 14-year-old when he was in his 30s and preyed on several other teenagers by threatening to dig up dirt on his accusers.
Moore made his threat while making a radio appearance with Fox News host Sean Hannity, sending a clear message to the four women who publicly shared their stories — as well as to any other women who might come forward with more.
Responding to a question from Hannity about the claim, Moore said "it's obvious to the casual observer that something's up," adding that he's "doing an investigation" and claimed he had "some evidence of some collusion."
The evidence-free allegation echoed Moore's original, conspiratorial response to the allegation. He blamed the story on his Democratic opponent Doug Jones, as well as the Washington Post.
Moore also said the story came out because "they don’t like my acknowledgment that there is a God" and accused Jones of having a "very liberal stance on transgenderism and transgenders in the military and in bathrooms."
MOORE: Well, if you step aside against — for any allegation, then you might as well not run, because when you run you’re going to get allegations. And first I would tell these individuals they wouldn’t make good judges, they wouldn’t make good people in the judicial system, because you are innocent until proven guilty. In this case, this woman has waited over 40 years to bring a complaint, four weeks out of an election. It’s obvious to the casual observer that something’s up. We’re also doing an investigation, and we have some evidence of some collusion here, but we’re not ready to put that to the public just yet.
HANNITY: So, you are trying to prove your innocence, in other words?
MOORE: Well, just like you said, they’re doing it to defeat this Senate campaign. They’re bringing something — they’re trying to mix something up, some other girls that never said anything about sexual impropriety, and they’re all labeling it on this 14-year-old, and I had nothing to do with this. This is a completely manufactured story meant to defrock this campaign. And they’re losing, they’re 11 points behind. They don’t like my acknowledgment that there is a God, and that we’ve refused to debate them because of their very liberal stance on transgenderism and transgenders in the military and in bathrooms. They’re desperate.
Initially, Moore sought to deflect the bad news about the story by leaking it to the propaganda site Breitbart. As part of this disinformation campaign, Breitbart editor Joel Pollak appeared on cable news and said Moore's predatory behavior toward teenagers was OK because he "was single" at the time.
Moore's response is directly out of the Donald Trump playbook. His strategy is nearly identical to how Trump handled the multiple women who have accused him of sexually assaulting them. Deny, attack, and deny some more — even as the accusations are backed up by dozens of people.
His fellow Alabama Republicans have thrown their moral compasses to the wind, and are all-in on supporting his campaign. One official even wants Moore's accusers to be prosecuted.
Already, the race in Alabama is narrowing, with a new poll conducted after the scandal was made public showing Moore in a dead heat with Democrat Jones. Despite some calls on him to drop out of the race, Moore seems determined to stay in until the bitter end.