HENEGAR, Ala. — At least one campaign official for Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore shoved a cameraman outside a rally in Alabama on Monday night, a confrontation captured on video moments before the man made opening remarks at the event.
In the video, Tony Goolesby — the DeKalb County coordinator for Moore’s campaign and the person who organized the event at the Henegar Community Center — grabbed a videographer’s camera and pushed him back several feet.
The cameraman recoiled but didn’t appear to fight back, said Connor Sheets, an investigative reporter for the Birmingham News who recorded part of the incident and witnessed all of it. A spokeswoman confirmed that the cameraman works for Fox News.
During the scuffle, a woman yelled “Tony” several times. In another frame, she placed her hand on the other man’s chest, apparently restraining him.
“Follow our orders,” one man says to the cameramen. “Go. Now.”
The incident took place on public property outside the community center where it is legal to film. Like other news organizations, Fox News officials said they had RSVP’d to the 6 p.m. event.
Sheets told The Post that most of the attendees and members of the media were already inside the Henegar Community Center, waiting for Moore to arrive.
But a few reporters and videographers lingered outside the main entrance in case Moore made a statement. In its report, Fox News said the reporters had been told that Moore would be arriving via the main entrance and hoped to capture footage of him walking in.
But when Moore’s motorcade arrived, they headed toward a side entrance, Fox News said. The videographers headed toward the vehicles.
That’s when Goolesby and the other campaign aide began to mix it up with the reporters and a producer.
A few moments after the altercation, Goolesby made opening remarks to those gathered: “There will be no outbursts from anybody in the crowd,” he said. “Judge Moore will not field any questions from the media or anyone else.”
Moore’s campaign has been rocked by accusations from women in Alabama who have come forward over the past month to say he treated them inappropriately, including a woman who says he touched her sexually when she was 14 and he was 32. Moore, 70, has denied any sexual misconduct, while acknowledging that he may have dated teenagers in his 30s.
National Republican leaders, with the exception of President Trump, have dropped support for Moore, with many, including Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.), Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), describing the women’s allegations as credible.
In his remarks Monday, Moore cast the allegations in biblical terms, saying they demonstrated the end-of-time deceptions of ancient prophecy. “In the last days, perilous times shall come,” he said, quoting from the book of Timothy. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection . . . trucebreakers, false accusers.”
It was unclear whether Moore witnessed the 30-second scuffle that preceded those comments. Goolesby did not respond to messages seeking comment, and Moore’s campaign has publicly stated that it would not answer questions from The Washington Post.
“The Washington Post is a worthless piece of crap that has gone out of its way to railroad Roy Moore,” Brett Doster, a strategist for Moore’s campaign, wrote in an email last week that he described as an “on the record” statement. “There is no need for anyone at the Washington Post to ever reach out to the Roy Moore campaign again because we will not respond to anyone from the Post now or in the future. Happy Thanksgiving.”
Bill Armistead, Moore’s campaign chairman, told Fox News that he hadn’t seen the video, but the campaign “certainly doesn’t condone any pushing or shoving of anyone, certainly not reporters or anyone else.”
Armistead accused the media of “inappropriate” behavior and “trying to stampede us in a lot of different situations and running down hallways, chasing after, shouting things that are inappropriate.”
Scherer reported from Henegar. Wootson reported from Washington.