At least four women have accused Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat, of making sexual advances on them while they were teenagers—including one woman who says Moore forced himself on her when she was 14 years old and he was 32. Leigh Corfman says Moore removed her shirt and pants, then touched her over her bra and underwear. She recalls thinking, “I wanted it over with—I wanted out. Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.”
Roy Moore is a former state Supreme Court justice who is currently running to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat. Some Republicans are calling on Moore to withdraw. But even if he does, other Republican candidates will have to be written in during the December 12 special election. On Thursday, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler attempted to defend Roy Moore, saying, “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. … There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
Stephen Bannon, the head of the far-right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, has also defended Roy Moore by attacking The Washington Post. Bannon is Trump’s former chief strategist and has been a major backer of Roy Moore’s Senate race.
Stephen Bannon: “The Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped that dime on Donald Trump is the same Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped the dime this afternoon on Judge Roy Moore. Now, is that a coincidence? That’s what I mean when I say opposition party.”
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Like most Americans, the President believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life.” Sanders went on to say, “The President also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”
President Trump himself has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. During the 2016 election, Trump called these women liars and threatened to sue them, although he hasn’t actually. One woman has, in turn, sued Trump for libel for calling her a liar. Roy Moore is famous for having been twice ousted as Alabama’s chief justice—first in 2003 for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. After being re-elected, he was again ousted in 2016, for ordering his judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing marriage equality. Moore is also well known for his racist, Islamophobic and homophobic positions. In 2005, he said homosexuality should be illegal, comparing it to bestiality.