- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
- At least one person said he received a robocall from someone trying to impersonate a Washington Post reporter.
- The impersonator claimed he was willing to pay at least $5,000 to women who were “willing to make damaging remarks” about Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for an Alabama senate seat.
- Other people appear to be smearing The Post, who first published the news of Moore’s sexual assault scandal.
Following the Washington Post’s report on a sexual assault scandal surrounding Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for an Alabama senate seat, at least one person in Creola, Alabama, said that he received a robocall from someone trying to impersonate a Post reporter.
Pastor Al Moore said he received a voicemail message from a “Bernie Bernstein,” who claimed to be a reporter for The Post, according to the local CBS affiliate WKRG-5.
“Hi, this is Bernie Bernstein, I’m a reporter for the Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between $5,000 and $7,000 dollars,” the voicemail reportedly said.
“We will not be fully investigating these claims however we will make a written report,” the voicemail continued.
Marty Baron, The Post’s executive editor, addressed the report and confirmed that someone was “falsely claiming to be from The Washington Post.”
“The call’s description of our reporting methods bears no relationship to reality,” Baron said in a statement, according to WKRG-5. “We are shocked and appalled that anyone would stoop to this level to discredit real journalism.”
Moore’s campaign was rocked by the scandal after several women accused him of initiating sexual encounters when they were minors, some as young as 14. Moore is believed to have been in his 30s at the time, and worked as an assistant district attorney
The scandal has attracted trolls to The Post, which first broke the story. Last week, a rumor alleging that one of Moore’s accusers was offered $1,000 by The Post began spreading online. The claim was quickly picked up by right-wing media outlets where it gained momentum among fringe groups.
A subsequent investigation on the rumor’s origins by The Daily Beast revealed that the claim came from a now-deleted Twitter user who floated conspiracy theories and whose background was rife with inconsistencies.