On Tuesday morning, CNN’s Poppy Harlow interviewed Janet Porter, a spokeswoman for Roy Moore’s Senate campaign, about the accusations made by multiple women that the Alabama Republican pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Two women have said Moore sexually abused them. Moore has denied all the allegations.
The interview was stunning for lots of reasons – not the least of which is that Porter tried to make an issue out of the fact that Poppy is pregnant. Yes, that really happened!
Thanks to the indispensable David Wright, I got a transcript of the interview and picked out the most outrageous lines by Porter. And there were lots.
1. “By the way, congratulations on your unborn child. That’s the reason why I came down is to volunteer to speak for Judge Roy Moore, because he will stand for the rights of babies like yours in the womb, where his opponent will support killing them up to the moment of birth.”
Uh, OK. I guess. But sort of a weird way to start an interview, no?
2. “Interestingly, his opponent when was asked, he can’t even deny that he wants to take guns and religious freedoms away.”
So, Doug Jones is anti-gun and anti-religious freedom? Worth noting: Jones has described himself as a “2nd Amendment guy” but does support enforcing the gun laws on the books more effectively.
3. “I don’t believe her at all, and I will tell you why. Not only was she sought after by The Washington Post, her mother doesn’t believe elements of her story, the element of the phone call that took place in her bedroom, and the mother said there was no phone in her bedroom.”
Porter is referring to Leigh Corfman, the woman who says Moore fondled her when she was 14. Corfman’s mother did tell Breitbart News that her daughter didn’t have a phone in her room but added: “The phone in the house could get through to her easily.”
4. “One of the jobs of journalists is to not just take an Academy Award performance at face value.”
Porter seems to be suggesting Corfman is acting?
5. “We need to make it clear there’s a group of non-accusers that have not accused the judge of any sexual misconduct or anything illegal.”
What about the “non accusers”?!?!?!? I’ll give Porter the benefit of the doubt here and assume she was referring to women who have come forward to say they had relationships with Moore as consenting teenagers (the age of consent in Alabama is 16) but allege no wrongdoing on his part. (Of course, Moore has denied knowing any of the women who have come forward so, in that, he is calling all of these women liars.)
If you don’t give Porter the benefit of the doubt, then the argument she is making goes like this: Well, sure, Moore is being accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by a handful of women. But lots of women in Alabama haven’t accused him of inappropriate behavior!
6. “If people are of legal age share a meal together, that’s none of my business.”
That is not what is at issue here, of course. Corfman was 14 when Moore allegedly abused her and, therefore, not able to legally consent. Another woman, Beverly Young Nelson, has accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
7. “Let’s look at Beverly Nelson. Everybody knows her yearbook is a forgery.”
Not sure Porter is acquainted with the accepted definition of “everybody.”
8. “She says when he goes forward before a Judiciary Committee in the Senate, and guess who sits on that committee: a guy by the name of Al Franken.”
OK, so, follow this logic by Porter. Nelson, through her attorney, has said she will hand over the physical copy of the high school yearbook Moore allegedly signed if he will go in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and testify under oath about these charges. But Moore can’t do that because Al Franken, who has been accused of groping a number of women, is on the committee. Or something.
9. “I have done what journalists are supposed to do. I looked at the facts and I see, for example, some of these have motivations.”
A few facts: 1) None of the women who have come forward know one another 2) None of the women initially reported by the Post sought out the news organization to tell their stories 3) They all tell very similar stories about Moore’s approach to them and pursuit of relationships with them.
10. “These are people seeking revenge. Like the criminals, like the drug dealer that Judge Moore sent to jail just happens to have a brother who is an editor on The Washington Post.”
Porter appears to be citing a One America News Network report that Moore once sentenced a man whose brother is an editor at the Post. Case closed!
11. “I don’t think he needs to follow the demands of Gloria Allred and sit before Al Franken on a Senate committee.”
Again with this. Moore can’t testify under oath about these allegations because Al Franken. Also because Gloria Allred.
12. “You should be talking about the fact that Judge Roy Moore stands for protection, not only of our Second Amendment rights so we can protect ourselves against predators, and the rights of babies like your baby, Doug Jones says you can take the life of that …”
Poppy cut off Porter here and said this: “Let’s leave my child out of this. Let’s leave my child out of this.”
13. “We are talking about fake allegations, concocted stories about an innocent man versus the real threat of child abuse not only in the womb but in the locker room.”
The real issue in this race isn’t the accusations of multiple women who say Moore pursued inappropriate relationships with when they were as young as 14. The real issue is unborn children and children under threat in locker rooms. Right.
14. “She’s the yearbook forger lady.”
That’s how Porter refers to Nelson. You should watch Nelson’s news conference and decide yourself if that’s a fair characterization.