Roy Moore (AP/Butch Dill)

Alabama pastor: Roy Moore dated "younger ladies" because of their "purity"

With an endorsement from Trump, don't expect Roy Moore to go anywhere, anytime soon


Charlie May
November 22, 2017 3:15PM (UTC)

With just under three weeks to go until Alabama heads to the polls to choose their next senator, the race has dominated recent media coverage as candidate Roy Moore stands accused of sexually preying on several underage girls, and in some cases, touching them inappropriately.

Naturally, President Donald Trump decided to endorse him.

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"I can tell you one thing for sure," Trump said on Tuesday during an impromptu press conference outside the White House. "We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, [Doug] Jones. I’ve looked at his record, it’s terrible on crime, it’s terrible on the border, it’s terrible on the military."

But while Trump's kinda sorta endorsement of Moore may ultimately prove to be the most prominent, Moore still has a loyal support base that doesn't plan on leaving his side. In fact, they've already attempted to justify the actions he's accused of, even though Moore has categorically denied them.

Pastor Flip Benham for example, believes Moore pursued dates with teenage girls because of their "purity."

"Judge Roy Moore graduated from West Point and then went on into the service, served in Vietnam and then came back and was in law school," Benham said on a local Alabama radio show Tuesday. "All of the ladies, or many of the ladies that he possibly could have married were not available then, they were already married, maybe, somewhere. So he looked in a different direction and always with the [permission of the] parents of younger ladies."

Benham added, "By the way, the lady he’s married to now, Ms. Kayla, was a younger woman. He did that because there is something about a purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that’s true, that’s straight and he looked for that."

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As it turns out, Moore said he had first noticed his wife, Kayla Moore, when she was as young as 15 years old.

"When I was deputy district attorney, many years before we got married, I saw her at a dance recital and I was standing, oh, at the back of the auditorium and I saw her up front," Moore said, according to CNN. "I remember her name, it was Kayla Kisor. KK. But I remember that and I didn't meet her there . . . it was, oh gosh, eight years later or something, I met her. And when she told me her name, I remembered."

In his 2005 memoir, "So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle for Religious Freedom," Moore wrote that after he first saw her when she was 15, "I knew Kayla was going to be a special person in my life."

He then began dating her when she was 23, and they married a year later, according to the memoir.

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The news that has amassed as of late about Moore's previous behavior has been stunning and disturbing to say the absolute least, and even in the midst of a wave of women coming forward about allegations sexual harassment, or otherwise misconduct, whether it's in Hollywood, the media, or the halls of Congress — these stories somehow encouraged Trump to endorse Moore.

"(It) made it easier and easier to stick with Moore," a Republican source close to the White House told CNN.

As allegations have placed Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., CBS journalist Charlie Rose, New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush and even Bill Clinton's behavior in the spotlight, Trump followed the stories closely and it's made things easier for him.

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"Since then, it's become much harder to tell who the bad guy is," the Republican close to the White House also said, CNN reported.

With a busy weekend filled with Thanksgiving festivities, Trump may seize the opportunity of a short-lived news cycle to campaign for Moore to help him win.

When asked if he'd campaign for the disgraced candidate on Tuesday, Trump said, "I’ll be letting you know next week."

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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