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Yet more sicko southern Baptist christian behaviour…

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Author Topic: Yet more sicko southern Baptist christian behaviour…  (Read 32 times)
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« on: November 13, 2017, 08:42:55 pm »

from The Washington Post....

Moore seeks to refocus campaign on conservative
religious values amid firestorm

GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama threatened to sue The Washington Post
for its report on allegations of sexual misconduct, and called on the United States
to restore its culture by going “back to God”.

By ELISE VIEBECK, DINO GRANDONI and JOHN WAGNER | 11:11PM EST - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in a special election in Alabama for a Senate seat, said on November 11th that he has “not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone.” The Washington Post reported on November 9th that a woman said Moore initiated a sexual encounter in 1979 when she was 14 and he was 32. — Photograph: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press.
Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in a special election in Alabama for a Senate seat, said on November 11th that he has
“not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone.” The Washington Post reported on November 9th that a woman said
Moore initiated a sexual encounter in 1979 when she was 14 and he was 32. — Photograph: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press.

REPUBLICAN Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama sought to refocus his campaign on the conservative religious ideals most likely to motivate his base voters, dismissing the national firestorm over allegations that he pursued teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

Addressing a gathering at the Huntsville Christian Academy in Huntsville, Alabama, on Sunday night, the former judge suggested that he was investigating his accusers, threatened to sue The Washington Post and called on the United States to restore its culture by going “back to God”.

“We can be proud of where we came from and where we're going if we go back to God,” Moore said at his second public event since The Post reported the allegations of misconduct last week. “If we go back to God, we can be unified again,” he said.

Moore's attempt to steer the political conversation in Alabama back to conservative Christian values came as he weathered a fourth day of repercussions from allegations by four women that he sought romantic or sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

One of the accusers, Leigh Corf­man, said she was 14 when Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her.

“We've still got investigations going on,” Moore said, referring to his accusers. “We're still finding out a lot we didn't know.”

Echoing a remark made by his wife on Saturday, Moore also said The Washington Post “will be sued” for its reporting. The event was closed to news reporters, but aides to Moore broadcast his remarks live on Facebook.

Moore's campaign received backup on Sunday from Breitbart News, which sent employees to Alabama to investigate Corfman and the three other women.

In an article published on Sunday titled “Mother of Roy Moore Accuser: Washington Post Reporters Convinced My Daughter to Go Public”, Breitbart quoted Corfman's mother as saying that Washington Post reporters sought out her daughter, not vice versa.

“She did not go to them,” Nancy Wells said, according to Breitbart. “They called her.”

Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Washington Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore's Senate campaign, a Washington Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women.

Breitbart's chairman, Stephen K. Bannon, supports Moore's candidacy and has said the accusers are trying to “destroy a man's life”. Bannon is a former adviser to President Trump and is still considered close to him.

Moore's remarks on Sunday night in northern Alabama received a standing ovation. But in Washington, support for his campaign to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued to flag throughout the weekend.

Senator Patrick J. Toomey (Republican-Pennsylvania) on Sunday called on Moore to exit the race and said that Senator Luther Strange (Republican-Alabama), who lost to Moore in the GOP primary, would be a strong candidate for a write-in bid.

“This is a terrible situation…. We'll probably never know for sure exactly what happened,” Toomey said on NBC's “Meet the Press”. “But from my point of view … I think the accusations have more credibility than the denial. I think it would be best if Roy would just step aside.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich, a frequent Republican critic of President Trump and his wing of the GOP, said the party “ought not to be for” Moore's candidacy and also raised the possibility of a write-in candidacy. “It's just really a matter of whether he ought to be the candidate, the standard-bearer of the Republican Party. And I just think he shouldn't be,” Kasich said on ABC's “This Week”.

Under Alabama law, Moore's name cannot be removed from the ballot this close to the election, but the state GOP can petition to disqualify him. If Moore is disqualified or withdraws, votes for him would not be counted.

The remarks came after multiple Republican senators rescinded their endorsements of Moore and the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled out of a joint fundraising committee with him.

Some Republicans had hoped Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (Republican), who has called the allegations “deeply disturbing,” would delay the election. But her staff told local media outlets over the weekend that it will take place as scheduled on December 12th.

Moore described the backlash as a political conspiracy among Democrats, establishment Republicans and the national media to keep him out of office.

“Why do they come now?” Moore said of the accusations, using parts of a statement he recited on Saturday in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.

“Because there are groups that don't want me in the United States Senate. They're desperate,” he said.

It remains unclear whether the allegations will damage Moore's campaign, although some signs over the weekend suggested it might.

Representatives of the Trump administration appeared split on how to handle the situation.

Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, said that Moore needs time to defend himself against the allegations and that Trump will look more closely at the issue after he returns from a trip to Asia.

“Roy Moore is somebody who graduated from West Point, he served our country in Vietnam, he's been elected multiple times statewide in Alabama,” Short said on “Meet the Press”. “The people in Alabama know Roy Moore better than we do here in D.C., and I think we have to be very cautious … of allegations that are 40 years old that arise a month before Election Day.”

In an interview on “This Week”, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway repeatedly declined to say whether she believes the allegations.

“I don't know the accusers, and I don't know Judge Moore. But I also want to make sure that we as a nation are not always prosecuting people through the press. He has denied the allegations,” she said.

Appearing on CNN's “State of the Union”, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the allegations against Moore require a closer look.

“I'm not an expert on this issue, but what I would say is people should investigate this issue and get the facts,” he said. “And if these allegations are true, then absolutely, this is incredibly inappropriate behavior.”

Senate Democrats continued to wrestle with how to leverage the allegations — and what they might do if Moore becomes their colleague after the December 12th special election.

On “Meet the Press”, Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) floated the idea of expelling Moore from the Senate if he wins.

“We may not have much choice on that but we have choice on something else,” said Klobuchar, who recently co-sponsored a bill requiring sexual harassment training for senators and their staff members. “That is that you can expel a senator once they are in with two-thirds of the vote after the ethics committee does an investigation.”

But Richard J. Durbin (Illinois), the No.2 Democrat in the Senate, said that unseating a senator is “several steps removed from where we are today,” arguing that Trump needs to “do more when it comes to this situation in Alabama.”

Asked about Moore, Trump more recently has told reporters traveling with him in Asia that “I have not seen very much about him, about it.”

“And, you know, I put out a statement yesterday that he'll do the right thing,” the president added.

After the allegations surfaced last week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement saying that Trump “believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”

She also said “a mere allegation” should not “destroy a person's life.”

• Elise Viebeck is a national enterprise reporter for The Washington Post.

• Dino Grandoni is an energy and environmental policy reporter for The Washington Post and the author of PowerPost's daily tipsheet on the beat, The Energy 202.

• John Wagner is a national political reporter covering the White House for The Washington Post.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Roy Moore's many comments about sex and morality

 • VIDEO: What to do with Roy Moore? The White House and leading Republicans split, again.

 • The accusations against Roy Moore are scandalous, but evangelical voters may still stand by him

 • Steve Bannon's wacko Roy Moore conspiracy theory

 • The appalling and entirely predictable GOP reaction to Roy Moore's accusers

 • A list of the many righteous things Roy Moore has said about sex and morality

 • The GOP's Roy Moore and Steve Bannon nightmare just came into focus

 • Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32

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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 08:52:16 pm »

Yet another example of the hypocrisy of southern Baptist Americans, this time a bible-bashing, god-fearing, tub-thumping judge who preyed on underage teenage girls, while no doubt glaring at darkie wrongdoers in the dock in front of him in his courthouse. And the good judge is an ardent gun-rights supporter too, and a card-carrying member of the NRA, as well as an apologiser for American gun laws after the massacre in Texas a week ago. And, it turns out, a kid fucker who is now trying to invoke his imaginary magician in the sky to divert attention from his past deviant behaviour.
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 03:28:50 pm »

from The Washington Post....

I know Roy Moore. He's always been a con artist.

The candidate has made a career of willfully misrepresenting the ideas he claims to stand for.

By RANDALL BALMER | 12:30PM EST - Friday, November 17, 2017

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a revival on Tuesday in Jackson, Alabama. — Photograph: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press.
U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a revival on Tuesday in Jackson, Alabama. — Photograph: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press.

I FIRST encountered Roy Moore in 2002 in a Montgomery, Alabama, courtroom, where I was an expert witness on the separation of church and state in what came to be known as the Alabama Ten Commandments case. Moore, then the state's chief justice, was the defendant. He had installed a granite block emblazoned with the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Judicial Building in Montgomery, declared that the event marked “the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and the return to the knowledge of God in our land” and then refused to allow any other religious representations in that public space.

“Roy's Rock” represented a clear violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, and Moore was being sued for so blatantly flouting the Constitution. He was silent that day in the courtroom, but he had already made a great deal of noise about the United States being a Christian nation. One of his arguments was that the founders were aware of no religion other than Christianity, and therefore, the First Amendment gave only Christians the right to free exercise.

That statement, of course, was demonstrably, ridiculously false. But that's Roy Moore. The Republican Senate nominee has fashioned an entire career out of subterfuge and self-misrepresentation — as a constitutional authority, as a Baptist and as a spokesman for evangelical values. The recent allegations of sexual misconduct, together with his many specious statements over the years — that the First Amendment guarantees religious freedom only for Christians, for example, or that many communities in the United States stagger under the burden of Islamic sharia law — underscore both his hypocrisy and his tenuous grasp of reality.

In 2004, after Moore was unseated for refusing to obey a court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument and was touring as a kind of full-time martyr for the religious right, I visited the judge in Montgomery, together with a group of students from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. In the course of the conversation, Moore launched into his riff about how the founders intended Christianity as the only constitutionally protected religion because they knew nothing else. (The founders were most certainly aware of Jews and Muslims, who appear in the writings of Thomas Jefferson and in the Treaty of Tripoli as Mussulmen, the French term. That same treaty, negotiated by the John Adams administration and ratified unanimously by the Senate in 1797, states that “the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”)

I decided to play along. By Moore's logic, I suggested, another clause of the First Amendment, freedom of the press, applied only to newspapers and not to other media because the founders had no knowledge of radio, television or the Internet.

Moore, rarely at a loss for words, was stumped for a moment, but he quickly regained his composure and resumed his bluster.

Aside from boasts about his constitutional expertise, Moore also asserts that he is a Baptist. (He is a member of First Baptist Church in Gallant, Alabama.) Once again, his behavior belies that claim. The Baptist tradition in America is marked by two characteristics. The first is that only adults and older children, not babies, may be baptized. The second is a belief in liberty of conscience and the separation of church and state, which grew in part out of Baptists' persecution as a minority in early America.

It was Roger Williams, a dissident Puritan who fled to what's now Rhode Island and became the founder of the Baptist tradition in America, who advocated for dividing the “garden of the church” from the “wilderness of the world” by means of a “wall of separation”. Jefferson, writing to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, in 1802, employed the same metaphor to summarize his understanding of the First Amendment.

For Williams and his contemporaries, the “wilderness” was a place of darkness where evil lurked, so when Williams talked about a wall of separation to protect the garden from the wilderness, his concern was that the integrity of the faith would be compromised by too close an association with the state.

For more than three centuries, at least until the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979, Baptists patrolled the wall of separation between church and state. Speaking at a rally on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on May 16, 1920, Baptist theologian George Washington Truett proudly declared that the separation of church and state was “pre-eminently a Baptist achievement.” He added that it was “the consistent and insistent contention of our Baptist people, always and everywhere, that religion must be forever voluntary and uncoerced, and that it is not the prerogative of any power, whether civil or ecclesiastical, to compel men to conform to any religious creed or form of worship.” Echoing Williams's sentiments from several centuries earlier, Truett concluded that Christianity “needs no prop of any kind from any worldly source” and that any such support is a “millstone hanged about its neck.”

That washing-machine-size rock Moore unveiled in Alabama was a 5,280-pound millstone. No one even dimly aware of Baptist heritage would tolerate such chicanery because the confluence of church and state, as Williams warned, diminishes the faith and opens it to fetishization and trivialization.

Finally, Moore claims to represent “family values” and, more broadly, evangelical Christian values. Aside from the disquieting specter of a 30-something Moore trolling shopping malls for teenage dates, Moore does not represent the evangelical movement he claims to herald. Historically, evangelicalism once stood for people on the margins, those Jesus called “the least of these.” Evangelicals in the 19th century advocated public education, so that children from less-affluent families could toe the first rungs of the ladder toward socioeconomic stability. They worked for prison reform and the abolition of slavery. They advocated equal rights, including voting rights, for women and the rights of workers to organize. The agenda of 19th- and early-20th-century evangelicals is a far cry from that of Moore and the religious right. I leave it to others to determine which version of “evangelical values” better comports with the words of Jesus, who instructed his followers to visit the prisoners, feed the hungry, welcome the stranger and care for the needy.

The image that Moore has tried to project over the course of his career — as a constitutional authority, a Baptist and a representative of evangelical values — is false, even fraudulent. The voters of Alabama have the opportunity to unmask him as the imposter he is.

Randall Balmer is the John Phillips Professor in Religion and director of the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Kayla Moore defends husband Roy from harassment accusations

 • VIDEO: Moore calls for McConnell to step down

 • Analysis: How Trump reacted to assault allegations against Al Franken, Roy Moore — and himself

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 03:32:45 pm »

from the Los Angeles Times....

For moderate Republicans in upscale Alabama suburbs,
Roy Moore presents a conundrum

By JENNY JARVIE | 2:15PM PST - Friday, November 17, 2017

Roy Moore is seen in September at Fairhope, Alabama. — Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Roy Moore is seen in September at Fairhope, Alabama. — Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

ROY MOORE, the 70-year-old former chief judge in Alabama, was not Ellen Tipton's ideal candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Yet the longtime Republican and Trump supporter had reconciled herself to voting for the firebrand conservative — until women began accusing him of sexual assault and unwanted overtures when they were teens. Moore has denied the allegations.

“All of those women are not lying,” the 55-year-old executive assistant said as she ran errands this week at a variety store in Mountain Brook, a long-time Republican stronghold south of Birmingham. “He's an embarrassment to Alabama.”

Tipton is agonizing over her options in the upcoming special election on December 12th to fill U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' former Senate seat.

“I just can't believe we're down to this,” she said. “I'm torn between voting for a pedophile and voting for a person who believes in abortion.”

Across Alabama, Republicans like Tipton in upscale suburbs find themselves facing a dilemma in whom to vote for, or whether to vote at all.

Moore is admired by many evangelical Christians for his defiant stance on the Ten Commandments and same-sex marriage — leading to his removal from his position of chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 and then again in 2016.

But some moderate suburban Republicans have long been appalled by the idea of such a religious-right zealot representing them in Washington, D.C.

Even before the sexual misconduct allegations surfaced, campaign signs touting Moore were rare in Mountain Brook, a leafy area of Tudor-style mansions that boasts the state's richest ZIP code. Residents are wary of Moore's lengthy track record of defiance as chief justice and his incendiary comments that Muslims should not serve in Congress and that homosexual conduct should be illegal.

“I don't have any sense that Roy Moore sides with the Republican agenda,” said Bill Martin, 68, a retired private industry executive from Mountain Brook who voted for President Trump last year. “I just think he is radical and beyond anything I could support.”

Republican antipathy toward Moore in the suburbs has only strengthened since a flurry of women stepped forward in the last week to accuse him of pursuing them when he was in his 30s and they were in their teens.

One woman said she was 14 when Moore sexually touched her after the two stripped to their underwear. Another said that when she was 16, Moore was giving her a ride home when he stopped the car, grabbed her breasts and tried to shove her face into his crotch, leaving her neck covered with bruises.

“While Trump had no problem carrying Alabama, I think Roy Moore has crossed a line, and even Republicans who reluctantly voted for Trump see this differently,” said Richard Fording, a political science professor at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. “It's hard to deny that he's creepy.”

It has been more than 20 years since a Democrat won a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, one of the nation's most conservative states.

Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the men responsible for the civil rights-era bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, would have to win over moderate Republicans to prevail.

Jones has a strong track record as a defender of law and order, but his support for abortion rights puts him at odds with vast swaths of Alabama residents.

A Jones victory would bolster the Democrats' power in Congress.

“I don't know what I'm going to do,” Martin said, admitting he was torn between abstaining and voting for Jones. “Doug Jones is a good man who has done good things for our state, but I don't want to add a Democrat to the Senate.”

While some consider the wave of allegations about Moore's pursuit of young women the last straw, others say they never considered voting for him.

“Voting for someone to create laws who blatantly disobeys laws, I don't think so,” said Katherine Taylor, a stay-at-home mom from nearby Vestavia Hills. Once the president of a Young Republicans group in college, she said she has no qualms about voting for Jones.

“I used to be a die-hard Republican, but I don't claim them anymore,” she said. “I think the Republican Party has been hijacked by Donald Trump.”

A Fox News poll released on Thursday found Jones taking the lead away from Moore, 50% to 42%. While Moore beats Jones among male voters by 12%, Jones has a strong advantage of 26% among women.

“I'm loyal to my party,” said Rutherford Yates, 25, a beer and wine salesman from the nearby neighborhood of Cahaba Heights, who saw the accusations as politically motivated. Yates said he would vote for Moore.

“It's all a bunch of lies,” he said of the allegations.

Others expressed disappointment with the Republican Party, saying it has become too extreme and divisive and lost its grip on its values.

“How can anyone who calls themselves a conservative vote for anyone as radical as Roy Moore?” said Tracy James, 44, a freelance fashion consultant who comes from a long line of Alabama conservatives. Her late father was a Republican judge, her cousin is former Alabama Governor Fob James and her uncle serves as a conservative justice on the Alabama Supreme Court.

James worked for Republicans Haley Barbour, Jeff Sessions and Luther Strange after college and still considers herself a member of the party, but said she will vote for Jones.

“I don't want to see the Republican Party stolen by the fanatics of the religious right,” said James, who lives in Mountain Brook. “I don't even consider Roy Moore a Republican. He's a theocrat disguised in Republican clothing.”

The Alabama Republican Party pledged its continued support for Moore on Thursday after meeting to discuss his candidacy. Over the last week, however, leaders of the national Republican Party have urged Moore to bow out of the race, even threatening to expel him from the Senate if he wins.

Alabama's senior senator, Richard Shelby, said he would write in the name of another candidate on his ballot. K.B. Forbes, a veteran GOP campaign operative who lives in Alabama, has launched a super PAC to support Jones.

Still, Tipton is hopeful that more facts will emerge in the next few weeks on the women's allegations, and that the GOP somehow comes up with a plan to defeat Moore and keep the Senate firmly in Republican control.

She has no intention of abstaining. As she sees it, she can either vote for Jones, or vote for Moore in the hope he's swiftly expelled from the Senate.

“As the 12th nears,” she said, “I just pray for a resolution.”

Jenny Jarvie reported from Mountain Brook, Alabama.

• Jenny Jarvie is a freelance journalist based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a special correspondent to the Los Angeles Times and numerous other newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel and many more.


Related to this topic:

 • Senator Al Franken, accused of sexual harassment from 2006, apologizes and agrees to an ethics investigation

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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 03:24:06 pm »

from The Washington Post....

Trump boosts Moore in Alabama Senate race
despite sexual misconduct allegations

“We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” the president said about the seat.

By MICHAEL SCHERER, ASHLEY PARKER and DAVID WEIGEL | 9:53PM EST - Tuesday, November 21, 2017

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departed with his family to his Mar-a-Lago resort Tuesday. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departed with his family to his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

PRESIDENT TRUMP gave a boost on Tuesday to embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, warning against a Democratic victory and emphasizing that the former judge “totally denies” allegations of inappropriate relationships with teenage girls.

“We don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump said about Moore's opponent, former federal prosecutor Doug Jones, who has led in some recent polls in the state. “I've looked at his record. It's terrible on crime. It's terrible on the border. It's terrible on military.”

The comments came after a week in which other Republican leaders in Washington, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), had cut ties with Moore and called on him to exit the race. They also stood in contrast to Trump's own support for the Republican National Committee's decision last week to pull resources from the state, including 14 paid staffers and expertise in using party data to target voters and model the election result.

There were no signs on Tuesday that the RNC would reverse course, but a senior administration official said the president's comments could prompt a larger effort to close ranks behind Moore.

“Normally there would be an outside group dumping $2 or $3 million attacking Doug Jones's record,” the official said after the president spoke. “And now that the president has warned against having a liberal Democrat in that seat, that could be taken as signal to the outside groups.”

Trump spoke as sexual harassment and abuse scandals continued to roil the nation's political landscape. In Congress, new allegations of harassment emerged on Tuesday against Representative John Conyers Jr. (Democrat-Michigan), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) released a statement calling for an ethics investigation of the matter. Senator Al Franken (Democrat-Minnesota) also faces an ethics probe after admitting to grabbing at the chest of a woman for a photograph while she slept before he was in Congress.

Trump — who during the presidential campaign was accused by 11 women of unwanted touching or kissing and was caught on tape boasting of grabbing women's genitals without their consent — declined to comment directly on the allegations against Conyers or Franken but said he was happy that the misbehavior was becoming public.

“A lot of things are coming out, and I think that's good for our society, and I think it's very, very good for women, and I'm very happy a lot of these things are coming out, and I'm very happy it's being exposed,” he said on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving for Florida, where he will spend the Thanksgiving holiday.

As an aside, he noted that Moore's accusers had supported his campaign. “The women are Trump voters,” he said. “Most of them are Trump voters.”

Just before the president spoke, Moore campaign surrogates issued a statement in Montgomery, saying they had evidence that cast doubt on the allegations of Leigh Corfman, who says she was touched sexually by Moore when she was 14 and he was in his 30s. The evidence they presented did not contradict Corfman's story.

Ben DuPré, a longtime aide to Moore, displayed documents he said were from the Corfman family's divorce file. The Washington Post had obtained and reviewed a copy of the divorce file before publishing Corfman's story. He noted that her parents had concerns at the time, following a divorce, regarding Leigh's behavioral problems, a fact that is not contested.

DuPré also claimed that Corfman lived nearly a mile away from the intersection of Alcott Road and Riley Street in Gadsden, Alabama, where she says Moore picked her up. It was not clear what address DuPré was referring to. Corfman and her mother told The Post they lived at the time on Whittier Street, which is just around the corner from the alleged pickup point.

DuPré also pointed to a Breitbart article in which Corfman's mother is quoted saying that there was no phone in her daughter's room at the time. Both Corfman and her mother have said they had a phone on a long cord in the hallway that could be brought into Leigh Corfman's room.

The RNC broke ties with Moore on November 14th as the president was returning from Asia. There was, however, some disagreement inside the administration at the time about the best path forward. “All the right political people were not read into that decision,” said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly knew about the decision and was part of the discussion. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said the president supported the decision.

But over the past week, the White House position began to change. In a “Fox & Friends” interview on Monday morning, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway tacitly supported Moore by talking about the importance of keeping Jones, whom she cast as a “doctrinaire liberal,” from winning Alabama's Senate seat — a message that was deliberate, one White House official said.

Conway alerted Trump in advance that she planned to make the argument against Jones, and the president agreed with the strategy, saying he was eager to see what the response was, the official said.

White House aides also realized that Trump had come around to that approach — stressing the importance of keeping the seat in Republican control — when he began making the argument privately.

Although his comments to the news media on Tuesday afternoon were unplanned, aides were not surprised when Trump made them.

In recent days, Trump had also begun expressing skepticism in private about the allegations against Moore. The president pointed to the presence of Gloria Allred — a well-known lawyer for sexual misconduct cases, who is representing one of Moore's accusers — as well as the timing of the accusations, so close to the election, as indicators of a political attack on Moore.

Democrats have dominated the broadcast airwaves in Alabama for weeks, spending more than seven times as much as Moore on television and radio ads, according to a Democrat and a Republican tracking the ad data.

The latest ad by Jones plays back criticism of Moore that Ivanka Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Senator Richard C. Shelby (Republican-Alabama) gave in the aftermath of allegations that Moore made unwanted advances on teenage girls.

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, is quoted as saying of the Moore allegations: “There's a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” Sessions is quoted from a congressional hearing where he was asked about the Moore story: “I have no reason to doubt these young women.” And Shelby, who has been critical of Moore, is quoted about his plan to write in another name on the ballot.

The ad targets Republicans and Republican-leaning voters who make up a majority of the state. The goal is to give them permission to vote for a Democrat in the December 12th special election.

“Most Alabamians haven't voted for a Democrat for U.S. Senate in a generation,” said Zac McCrary, an Alabama-based pollster for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “You are butting up against a generation of Republican muscle memory,”

At a short Tuesday afternoon news conference, Jones smiled faintly as a reporter read back Trump's criticism of him as a “soft on crime” liberal. As a federal prosecutor, Jones obtained convictions in the early 2000s of two members of the Ku Klux Klan for their role in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four young African American girls.

“I feel like my record speaks for itself,” Jones said. “I know my record on crime and criminal justice issues. I know my record on everything else. We've got three weeks to go, and people are going to make that judgment.”

Asked if he considered Moore to be a sexual predator, Jones said he was less interested in characterizing his opponent than in listening to the accusers.

“I believe the women. I think that answers the question,” he said. “I'm not going to call names.”

With three weeks to go until the vote, it is unclear if a Republican-leaning outside group will invest in the race to attack Jones.

Ed Rollins, chairman of the pro-Trump Great America PAC, said that while his group has not made any decisions about what money to invest in Alabama going forward, any future ads probably would be attacking Jones rather than overtly supporting Moore.

“We think it's always important that you get someone who is going to be a pro-Trump supporter,” Rollins said. “Obviously Alabamians are going to make up their mind. The only advertising we've done to date has been anti-Jones. We've not made any decisions, but if we did anything else, it would be along the same lines.”

David Weigel reported from Huntsville, Alabama. Sean Sullivan and David Nakamura in Washington contributed to this report.

• Michael Scherer is a national political reporter at The Washington Post. Michael previously reported for TIME since December 2007 and became their Washington Bureau Chief in 1913. He moved to The Post in August 2017.

• Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at The New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things.

• David Weigel is a national political correspondent covering Congress and grassroots political movements. He's the author of "The Show That Never Ends," a history of progressive rock music.


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