A digital billboard was roaming around Pensacola, Fla., as President Trump held a rally there and urged residents in nearby Alabama to vote for embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore in the Senate race.
The billboard, displayed on the side of a moving truck Friday, reminded people of what Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a White House adviser, had previously said about Moore amid accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls.
“There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts,” Ivanka Trump told the Associated Press last month.
The billboard appears to be the work of the liberal group American Bridge, which featured the comments in big, bold letters next to Ivanka Trump’s image. The group seemed to double down on the trolling by blasting the comments over a loud speaker outside the rally.
Ivanka Trump’s words contradicted her father’s unwavering support of Moore. The president defended Moore last month, saying the former Alabama chief justice “totally denies” the allegations against him and telling reporters at the White House that “you have to listen to him, also.”
At his rally Friday, just four days before the Alabama special election, Trump’s endorsement of Moore was even more unequivocal.
“We want people that are going to protect your gun rights, great trade deals instead of the horrible deals. And we want jobs, jobs, jobs. So get out and vote for Roy Moore. Do it. Do it. Do it,” he told supporters.
Trump also singled out one of Moore’s accusers, Beverly Young Nelson, who had admitted earlier Friday that she added notes — a location, a date and the initials “D.A.” — to what she said was Moore’s inscription to her in her yearbook. Nelson said she stands by her claim that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress in Gadsden, Ala.
“So did you see what happened today?” Trump asked supporters. “You know the yearbook? Did you see that? There was a little mistake made. She started writing things in the yearbook. Oh, what are we going to do?”
Trump also mentioned Nelson’s attorney, Gloria Allred: “Anytime you see her, you know something’s going wrong.”
The Washington Post first reported on the decades-old allegations against Moore in early November. Four women told The Post that Moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. One of whom, Leigh Corfman, said she was 14 when Moore initiated a sexual encounter. Two more women came forward shortly after. Nelson, who came forward with her attorney, was not among those women.
Moore, who has denied engaging in sexual misconduct, had told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that he may have dated teenage girls when he was in his 30s, though he said he could not recall.
Ivanka Trump’s condemnation of Moore isn’t the only time the first daughter broke with her father on divisive issues.
While her father shied away from immediately condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis after deadly violence erupted in Charlottesville last summer, Ivanka Trump didn’t.
“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazis. We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED,” she tweeted.
The first daughter’s stance on Syrian refugees also contradicts her father’s policy. She told NBC News in April that “a global humanitarian crisis is happening,” and opening the country’s borders to Syrian refugees “has to be part of the discussion.”
The latest version of the president’s travel ban bars people from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela from entering the country.
Although she has departed from her father on some issues, Ivanka Trump has been accused of being complicit in her father’s policy agenda. After her comments on Moore, The Post’s Jennifer Rubin pointed out that many others, her father included, have been accused of sexual misconduct.
Michael Scherer and Amber Phillips contributed to this report.