Donald Trump (AP/Chris Carlson/John Bazemore/Photo montage by Salon)

In online forum, Trump judicial nominee defended KKK, statutory rape

Nominee Brett Talley, who has no trial experience, was a regular poster on a University of Alabama sports forum


Taylor Link
November 16, 2017 11:30PM (UTC)

It turns out Brett Talley's inexperience in a court room was not the only factor that should have precluded him from a federal judgeship nomination. The 36-year-old lawyer, who has no trial experience, apparently spent a lot of time on a sports message board where he crudely debated issues of race and sexual misconduct with minors.

Ever since Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Talley's nomination, damning information has come to light regarding his character. First, the Trump nominee failed to disclose that he is married to a White House staffer.

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To make matters worse for Talley, he was unable to hide his activity on an Alabama sports message board. Talley was a frequent commentator on a web forum devoted to the University of Alabama's athletic department. Talley posted to the message board more than three times a day, BuzzFeed first reported, and routinely commentated on sports, politics and culture. It was in these posts that he revealed his strange views on race and sexual misconduct.

In a forum thread about Mississippi proposing to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest — the first Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard — with a license plate, Talley defended the origins of the KKK, claiming they were different from future iterations:

Heaven forbid we let the facts get in the way of your righteous indignation, but Forrest, when he decommissioned his men, told them to make peace with the men they had fought and live as good citizens of the United States. It was only after the perceived depredations of the Union army during reconstruction that Forrest joined (it is highly unlikely that he founded or acted as the Grand Wizard) the first KKK, which was entirely different than the KKK of the early 19th Century. When the Klan turned to racial violence, he distanced himself from the organization as he had long supported the reconciliation of the races. In fact, he often spoke to black organizations.

Talley's revisionist history is disputed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which claims that the KKK immediately sought to impose white supremacy in the American South.

"Little more than a year after it was founded, the secret society thundered across the war-torn South, sabotaging Reconstruction governments and imposing a reign of terror and violence that lasted three or four years," the SPLC said.

In another thread, Talley appeared to express contempt that he was not the victim of statutory rape at the hands of a 20-year-old female babysitter, similar to the allegations in a Daily Mail story headlined, “Nanny Diaries: Confiscated Journals Reveal 20-Year-Old Babysitter's Love for Boy, 14, and ‘Amazing’ Sex.”  “Why not me!” Talley allegedly wrote in the thread.

While Talley has already made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee, his nomination still needs to be confirmed by the entire Senate body.

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Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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