When Senate leaders planned an event Thursday afternoon with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House economic guru Gary Cohn to tout the rollout of their tax plan, the words “Roy Moore underage girl” were not likely on their minds.
But by the time the event happened, the allegations – first reported by The Washington Post – that the Alabama Republican Senate nominee had pursued relationships with four girls aged 14 to 18 when he was in his 30s was all anyone was talking about.
Which made this question and answer session SUPER awkward. (Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch had both previously issued responses saying that if the allegations were true, Moore should step aside.)
Make sure you watch all 44 seconds of this. WARNING: It is a tough watch.
There’s so much here. My thoughts – in order.
1. The shouted question: “Do you believe these women who have made allegations against Roy Moore?”
2. Senate Majority Leader McConnell sitting stone-faced. And undoubtedly thinking: “Please let this end. And soon.”
3. Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson makes a brief appearance, staring into nothing, before he is cropped out of the shot entirely.
4. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley smiling.
5. Utah’s Hatch with an “I can’t believe this is happening/”Is this actually happening?” look.
6. A staffer shouting “thank you” in a failed attempt to end the questioning.
7. McConnell stretching out his back and sitting up all while keeping the not-smiling-but-not-frowning he has absolutely mastered. And undoubtedly thinking: “Please let this end. And soon.”
8. Another shouted question about “on-the-record accusations against Roy Moore, sir?”
9. McConnell looking to the side. And undoubtedly thinking: “Please let this end. And soon.”
10. The Grassley wave.
11. Grassley saying, “Bye everybody,” while McConnell turns to him and smiles.
12. Hatch staring into space bemusedly.
13. The second Grassley “bye” wave – this time with WAY more wrist action.
14. McConnell removing his hand from the table. Licking his lips. And undoubtedly thinking: “Please let this end. And soon.”
15. The camera pan out to Mnuchin and Cohn, who look like people who accidentally walked into a bank robbery.
16. The persistent questioner who shouts, “Write-in candidate?”
17. Hatch deciding that he’s seen enough – and waving everyone out in one grand gesture.
18. McConnell staring straight ahead. And undoubtedly thinking: “Please let this end. And soon.”