Right-wing talk show host Sean Hannity is no longer defending embattled Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
"You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies. You must remove any doubt. If he can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race," Hannity told his viewers on Tuesday night. "You know I do not and will never rush to judgment, because we have seen the media and politicians get it wrong so many times."
His statements came after days of arousing controversy for defending Moore. On Thursday, Hannity told his radio listeners that it would be impossible to "know the truth" about whether Moore had attempted to date at least five teenagers when he was in his 30s, even seeming to imply at one point that the alleged incidents had been "consensual," although he later said that he had miscommunicated. When he invited Moore on his program on Friday, Hannity listened as the Senate candidate declared that he had never tried to date any girl without the permission of her mother.
Moore's controversial actions regarding sex crimes continued long after the alleged incidents with teenage girls transpired. In 16 cases involving alleged sex offenders between 2013 and 2016, Moore sided with the alleged perpetrators over the prosecutors and the alleged victims on 13 of those occasions. While he was siding with the majority view of the Supreme Court's nine judges on three of those occasions, he was dissenting from them on 10 other occasions.
Since Friday, Hannity has been dropped by a number of his sponsors, most notably coffeemaker company Keurig. It is unclear whether this prompted Hannity to suddenly declare that Moore had "24 hours" to explain the inconsistencies in his story before needing to drop out of the race.
Hannity’s abrupt flip-flop on Moore may come as a shock to conservative media, which, until Tuesday night, has been defending the Republican. Earlier, on Hannity's radio program, Newt Gingrich said there was a "lynch mob" after Moore.
Is Hannity now part of the lynch mob?