- Scott Olson/Getty Images
- GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore spoke to Fox News personality Sean Hannity on Friday to respond to bombshell allegations of sexual misconduct published Thursday.
- Moore said he did not commit the act involving a 14-year-old teen, but suggested that he did date women as young as 16 when he was over the age of 30.
Roy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee in Alabama, gave a bizarre radio interview to Fox News personality Sean Hannity on Friday in which he said he “generally” did not remember dating teens as young as 16 when he was above the age of 30.
Moore was responding to allegations published by The Washington Post on Thursday that have rocked the Alabama Senate race. In that report, a woman claimed that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32. Multiple additional women told the publication that Moore pursued relationships with them while he was in his 30s and they were between the ages of 16 and 18 or 19. The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
“I believe they’re politically motivated,” Moore told Hannity of the allegations. “I believe they were brought on to stop a very successful campaign. And that’s what they’re doing.”
Moore, up to this point, had vehemently denied the allegations. He insisted in the interview with Hannity that he the allegation that he sexually abused a 14-year-old was untrue, and that he never met the woman who made the allegation.
But he also said he did recall knowing two of the other women cited in the story: Debbie Wesson Gibson, who said Moore sought a romantic relationship with her when he was 34, and Gloria Thacker Deason, who said she was 18 when she started going out with the 32-year-old Moore, who bought her alcohol when she was either 18 or 19.
The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19 at the time.
‘I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother’
Moore began the interview by saying the allegations were “completely false and misleading.” But he seemed to waver throughout the interview.
Hannity went through the Post story and detailed the allegations of the four accusers. Moore claimed to know two of four, but denied any instance of misconduct with either. In response to the allegations involving Debbie Wesson Gibson, Moore said, “I don’t remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates, then we did. But I don’t remember that.”
Speaking of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Moore said he “dated a lot of young ladies” after “my return from the military.”
“I do recognize the names of two of these young women,” he said of Gibson and Deason, denying that he gave the latter alcohol when she was underage. “As I recall, she was 19 or older.”
Asked if he remembers dating teenage women when he was older than 30, Moore said, “Not generally, no.”
“I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother,” he said. He later pointed to The Post’s story and said, “These two young girls actually said their mothers encouraged them to be friends with me.”
After a commercial break, Moore became more forceful in his denials of dating teenagers. He said doing so “would be out of my customary behavior” and that he “never” would have dated a teen without her mother’s permission.
Pointing to the allegation involving a 14-year-old, Moore said: “This never happened. They know it never happened.”
“If you abuse a 14-year-old, you shouldn’t be a Senate candidate. I agree with that,” Moore said. “But I did not do that.”
He called the report a “political attack” against him and added that he’s “sure in the next four weeks” The Post is “going to come out with another article.”
Saying that “establishment Republicans” and “Democrats” were behind the allegations, Moore said he and his campaign “have some evidence of some collusion here.”
“But we’re not ready to put that to the public yet,” he said.
After Moore’s interview ended, Hannity welcomed on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. But Hannity said he did not want to ask her any questions about Moore and “drag” her into the controversy. President Donald Trump on Friday said Moore should step aside.