Democracy Dies in Darkness

The Fix | Analysis

Roy Moore's shaky defense of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, annotated

By Amber Phillips, Eugene Scott

November 10, 2017 at 5:51 PM

For the first time since The Washington Post reported Thursday that four women said Roy Moore pursued romantic or sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, the GOP Senate candidate publicly defended himself. Moore spoke to Sean Hannity on Fox News Radio. We've annotated this rough transcript of the Friday broadcast using Genius.com. Click on the highlighted text to read the annotation.

SEAN HANNITY: A lot of the last day talking about these allegations about Senate candidate down in Alabama Judge Roy Moore and this relates to a Washington Post piece that we read all the details but I'll remind you what it says now the allegations come from 38 years ago. Now a woman the headline of The Washington Post woman says Roy Moore initiated a sexual encounter when she was 14 and he was 32. Now I want to explain this in all of its detail and then Judge Moore is going to respond to all of this exclusively here on the program today. And I said this yesterday if anyone is behaves this way or is responsible for this type of behavior of course it is unacceptable in any society be shameful et cetera. Everyone would agree. 32 year old man pursuing a 14 year old girl is despicable and that's something I think should transcend all politics. Roy Moore has however been in the public eye for 40 years a controversial figure for many of those years. Does everybody in this country have a presumption of innocence and a right to defend their name? One of the things I've said on radio and TV is our goal this is not a political issue. This is the goal to get to the truth in light of all of these people that we have mentioned from Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and Ben Affleck and Dustin Hoffman and the list goes on and on and on. It is revealed. Roman Polanski is hailed as a hero by Hollywood. So my goal is only to find the truth. This isn't political for me in any way shape or form.

So The Washington Post alleges that back in 1979 when she was 14 years old that she had sexual encounters with the then 32-year-old Roy Moore. And on one occasion the woman alleges that Moore kissed her and during another she says that Moore allegedly inappropriately touched her and asked her to. And he took off her shirt and pants and then guided her hand to touch him. Although she claimed no other sexual conduct had taken place. No sexual intercourse. She described the incident to The Washington Post stating I wanted it over with. I want it out. Please just get it. Get this over with whatever it is. Just get it over with and the woman says she has more to take her home which he did. And you have three other women also accusing Moore of misconduct back in the '70s while they were teenagers raging in age from 16 to 18 years old. The age of consent in Alabama 16. Women are alleging that Moore pursued romantic relationships with them and one allegation involve kissing and only kissing and we'll go into all the details of all this in a second but joining us now is the Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore. Judge welcome back to the program. Thanks for being with us.

ROY MOORE: Nice to be you.

HANNITY: Judge let's talk about ... first let's ... you're now reading it. I know you put out a number of statements but I think we should address it head on. What ... what do you make of these allegations?

MOORE: Well Sean first let me say this. These allegations are completely false, false and misleading. But more than that it hurts me personally because, you know, I'm a father, I have one daughter, I have five grand daughters and I have a special concern for protection of young ladies. This is, this is really hard to get on the radio and explain this and as these allegations are just completely false.

HANNITY: What do you make specifically? Let's start with what they talked about that you had struck up a conversation with this young woman who was 14. Leigh Corfman and her mother says that you offered to watch the girl while the mother went inside for a custody hearing which they confirmed it actually happened at that time. What is your...do you know Ms. Corfman? Do you know the mother?

MOORE: I don't know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to her or never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they are politically motivated. I believe they're brought on to stop a very successful campaign. That's what they're doing. I've never known this woman or anything with regard to the other girls. You understand this is 40 years ago, and after my return from the military, I dated a lot of young ladies. I do recognize however the names of two these young ladies, Debbie Wesson and Gloria Thacker, which they have a maiden ... that's their maiden name. And they...

HANNITY: Well let me let me give the details. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when you spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on several dates and it did not progress, her words, beyond kissing according to The Washington Post let's stay on her. Did that happen?

MOORE: I do not remember speaking to a civics class. I don't remember that. I do not remember when we ... I seem to know or remember knowing her parents ... that they were friends. I can't recall the specific dates because that's been 40 years but I remember her as a good girl. But neither of them have ever stated any inappropriate behavior. She didn't say anything. They said about me...

HANNITY: But do you remember ever going on a date with her? She said that you asked around out on the first of several dates but nothing progressed beyond kissing.

MOORE: I don't remember specific dates. I do not and I don't remember if it was that time or later. But I do not remember that.

HANNITY: But you know her but you never dated her ever? Is that what you're saying?

MOORE: No but I don't remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates then we did. But I do not remember that.

HANNITY: What about Gloria Thacker Deason? Says she was an 18 year old cheerleader when you began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus rosé wine. She's 18 at the time. The Alabama drinking age at the time is 19. Did that ever happen?

MOORE: No. Because in this county is a dry county. We would never would have had liquor. I would never ... I believe this she said that she believed she was under age and as I recall she was 19 or older and that just never happened. I never provided alcohol, beer or intoxicating liquor to a minor. That'd be against the law and against anything I would have ever done. And I seem to remember her as a good girl or I seem to remember I had some sort of knowledge of her parents, her mother in particular.

HANNITY: At that time in your life, let me ask you this you do remember these girls would it be unusual for you as a 32-year-old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15 year difference or a girl 18. Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?

MOORE: Not generally, no. If did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything but I don't remember anything like that.

HANNITY: But you don't specifically remember having any girlfriend that was in her late teens even at that time?

MOORE: I don't remember that and I don't remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother. And I think in her statement she said that her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me.

HANNITY: Well actually there was there was one though, a 14-year-old that was working as a Santa helper when you approached her. And when she was 16 and her mother forbade her, that was the third case. Let me, let me, let me go back to Corfman for a minute here because this is the issue here. She gives specific instances where the first day you met her at the courthouse, you got a phone number you talked her on the on the phone and on that you drove through drove her 30 minutes from her house to the woods in where you lived and you kissed her and on a second visit you took off her shirt, pants, removed your clothes, touched her bra, underpants and you guided her hand to touch him over your underwear. Now those are specific charges she's making. And I think you know obviously it's about a month away from this election campaign. Are you saying none of yours....Is that your position none of that ever happened?

MOORE: It never happened and I don't even like hearing it because it never happened and they're doing this a month away, four weeks away, after 40 years in public service. I've run five successful campaigns or five campaigns, statewide campaigns, three in the county. This has never been brought up. It has never been even mentioned and all of a sudden four weeks out they're bringing out, they're bringing up because it's political. It's a direct attack on this campaign and it involves a 14-year-old girl, which I would have never had any contact with nothing with her mother or any courthouse or anywhere else would I have done that. In fact, her allegations contradict the whole behavior pattern of the other two young ladies who even witnessed yourself.

HANNITY: You mentioned you'd never go out with any young girl I assume you meant like when you were 32 at that time of your life, would you always ask the permission of the parent before you would take a girl out?

MOORE: Well I mean I'm saying that in their statements that they made these two young girls said their mother actually encouraged them to be friends with me. And you know that's what they said. I don't remember. I wasn't privy to their conversation but obviously we never had any sexual activity. There was never anything like that. And the behavior was all together appropriate according to them.

HANNITY: As we continue, Judge Roy Moore responding to The Washington Post and the headline “Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14 and he was 32.” So I guess you know you've got yourself in a position here where you're a month out of an election. This all drops on you. You're denying everything. What do you want to tell people. And I'll just give you the microphone about how they should view The Washington Post, these people making these charges and your denial. How should people see it?

MOORE: Well I think they should see it as it really is, and that's 40 years I've been in the public eye. I've been serving as a deputy prosecutor. I've been a judge I've been a chief justice twice. I've run a foundation for moral law. And now I after 40 years, four weeks out of the election — it's not even mentioned in the primary — they bring charges and try to back them up with other things that sound bad.

But then the alleged things that are completely untrue. I never knew this woman. I never met this woman and these charges are politically motivated, and they're there to do exactly what they're doing. The Democrat is 11 points behind. He's very liberal. They don't want to talk about his record. They don't want to talk about his inexperience. They want to diffuse this just like they diffuse President Trump's agenda about bringing up the Russian deal. They're bringing up something to track through this campaign and they know what they're doing. And they've got me obviously on the radio hearing things about a sexual encounter that never happened. I would put you in the same position you would feel just like me. You'd be angry. You'd be very angry. And that's exactly the position I'm in. This never happened. They know it never happened. And obviously you don't wait 40 years to bring out something like this. They're going to come out fast. There will be facts to show in this situation. This was a Democrat and maybe even the established Republican efforts to undermine this campaign because they don't want to hear the truth in Washington and they don't want to hear the truths about God and about the Constitution.

HANNITY: Last thought on the establishment Republicans, you think they're partly involved in this?

MOORE: Well, if they're not involved in the implementation of it, they're sure backing away very quickly.

HANNITY: And then what about those that don't give you the presumption of innocence? What do you say to them?

MOORE: Well that's what I'm talking about. They're not even giving me the presumption of innocence. They're saying I should resign because The Washington Post brought these charges against the president and allegations about the Russian involvement. The Washington Post has attacked my foundation, they've attacked my wife and now they're attacking me personally on a sexual matter. I don't know what's coming next but I'm sure that in the next four weeks they're going to come out with another article because they've got an agenda, and they're fulfilling their agenda right as we speak.

HANNITY: Judge Moore thank you for taking the time, and we appreciate you giving your side we believe in being fair and balanced. Thank you so much for talking to our audience answering these questions. We appreciate it. Wish you the best. Thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.


Amber Phillips writes about politics for The Fix. She was previously the one-woman D.C. bureau for the Las Vegas Sun and has reported from Boston and Taiwan.

Eugene Scott writes about identity politics for The Fix. He was previously a breaking news reporter at CNN Politics. He is a D.C. native.

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