VESTAVIA, Ala. — A defiant Roy Moore on Saturday adamantly denied accusations that he pursued romantic and sexual relationships with teenagers while he was in his 30s, instead charging that The Washington Post published “fake news” to advance its own political agenda.
Speaking at a Mid-Alabama Republican Club event at the Vestavia Public Library near Birmingham, the embattled Republican argued that the timing of the story just a few weeks before the special election for U.S. Senate was an attempt by the Post and his opponents to undercut his campaign.
“Just two days ago The Washington Post published yet another attack on my character and reputation in a desperate attempt to stop my campaign for U.S. Senate. These attacks involve minors and they are completely false and untrue — about something that happened nearly 40 years ago. But more than being completely false and untrue, they’re very hurtful to me personally. I’ve been married to my wife Kayla for nearly 33 years. We have four children. I have one daughter and I have five granddaughters,” Moore said to the crowd of about 100 attendees.
The report, published last week, said that Moore asked multiple teenage women out on dates while he was in his 30s and gave some of them alcohol. One woman said he took her home and undressed her when she was 14. Moore denied those charges.
“I have the highest regard for the protection of young children,” Moore said, adding that “to be attacked for allegations of sexual misconduct contradicts my entire career of the law. I want to make it clear to the media present and the people present I have not provided alcoholic beverages — beer or anything else to minors. I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone. These allegations came four and a half weeks before the general election on Dec. 12. Why now? For 40 years I have been closely scrutinized in the press and public media.”
Moore then ticked off all the campaigns he ran for elected office where he was investigated and scrutinized by opponents and the media.
“They do investigations in every [race] I’ve ever run,” Moore said. “I’ve been investigated more than any other person in this country. That these grown women would wait 40 years to come forward right before an election to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable.”
The crowd then broke in brief applause.
“The Democrats and Republican establishment know the importance of this election. In fact most people in America know the importance of this election,” Moore said. “It may well determine the future of our country.”
The report was meant to divert attention away from other issues, Moore continued, and help former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.
“This article is a prime example of fake news, intended to divert attention from the true issues that affect our country, like healthcare, military readiness, tax reform, immigration, and the national debt. We do not intend to let the Democrats or establishment Republicans or anybody else behind this story to stop this campaign,” Moore said.
Moore said new information would come forward in the next few days about the Post article. He didn’t elaborate on what that information would be.
“There are investigations that are going on. In the next few days there will be revelations about the motivation and the content of this article,” Moore said. “I do not expect the Washington Post to stop, I think they have a political agenda, and I think they’re running that agenda and everybody in this room, everybody watching on these cameras, should ask themselves it’s strange that after 40 years of constant investigations people have waited from four weeks prior to the investigation to bring their complaints.”