01:09 - Source: CNN
Moore attorney invokes anchor's background

Story highlights

Trenton Garmon was a guest on MSNBC Wednesday

He fell into a tense exchange with the hosts

Washington CNN —  

An attorney for Roy Moore on Wednesday compared Moore’s dating habits to arranged marriage and suggested that MSNBC host Ali Velshi’s “background” would help him understand Moore’s “process.”

Trenton Garmon, Moore’s attorney, was a guest on MSNBC Wednesday and fell into a tense exchange with Velshi and his co-host, Stephanie Ruhle. Velshi is of Indian descent but his family moved to Toronto, where they still live, shortly after his birth.

Garmon was asked to explain why Moore “would need permission from any of these girls’ mothers if they weren’t underage” – one of a series of questions about allegations of sexual abuse of teenage girls made against the Alabama Senate candidate. Last week, Moore had told Fox host Sean Hannity in his defense, “I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”

Garmon began, “Culturally speaking, obviously there’s differences, (I) looked up Ali’s background there, and wow, that’s awesome that you have got such a diverse background, it’s really cool to read through that. But point is this, each culture has…”

“What does Ali’s background have to do with dating a 14-year-old?” Ruhle cut in.

Garmon answered, “Sure – in other countries, there is arrangement through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriage… “

Ruhle cut in again saying, “Ali is from Canada.”

“I understand that,” Garmon replied. “And Ali’s also spent time in other countries, of which I’ve gone, too.”

“So have I,” Ruhle said.

“So, it’s not a bad thing,” Garmon said.

Velshi then interjected, “I don’t know where you are going with this, Trenton.”

Garmon continued, “Here’s the answer to your question. So, (Moore) said, no, comma, so he answered no. And then he went on to say his process would be – before he’d date anybody, whether they are 25, 35 or whether he doesn’t know their age – he would ask the mother’s permission. So he actually answered no. There’s no inconsistency in that. And I stand by the answer. To me it’s the most appropriate, proper answer.”