Alabama Senate hopeful: 'You could say that' America today is evil

Roy Moore, one of the Republicans vying to replace Attorney General Jeff Session as an Alabama senator, said in a recent interview that "you could say that" America today is evil.

When The Guardian's Paul Lewis, who was probing the rising popularity of Russian President Vladimir Putin among U.S. conservatives, told Moore that former President Reagan called Russia "the focus of evil in the modern world," Moore said it wasn't the only one. 

"You could say that very well about America, couldn't you?" Moore responded in the interview published Wednesday.

"We promote a lot of bad things," added the former chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, specifically citing same-sex marriage. 

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"That's the very argument that Vladimir Putin makes," Lewis pointed out. 

"Well, then maybe Putin is right," Moore said. "Maybe he's more akin to me than I know." 

Moore is leading the GOP primary in the special election to replace Sessions, according to a poll released this week. Also running for the Senate seat in deep-red Alabama are Republicans Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksAlabama rep: Roy Moore accuser 'is clearly a liar' GOP rep rushes down stairs as reporter asks about Roy Moore's accusers GOP lawmaker backing Moore: Conservative agenda 'more important than contested sexual allegations’ MORE and Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed after Sessions was confirmed to lead the Justice Department.

Moore and Brooks are both running as anti-establishment candidates, trying to paint Strange as a tool of the Washington establishment.

President Trump endorsed Strange on Tuesday.

In 2003, Moore left the state Supreme Court after refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments, which he had commissioned, from outside the Alabama Judicial Building, as ordered by a federal court. 

Moore was elected again as chief justice in 2013, but resigned earlier this year after being found guilty of six judicial ethics code violations for his ordering of lower judges to enforce the state's gay marriage ban after it had been overturned. 

In the Guardian interview, Moore also said "it was the providential hand of God" that placed Trump in the White House, and said that "God knows the heart of man" when asked to comment on Trump's adherence to the Ten Commandments. He compared Trump to the biblical King David, who he said also broke many of God's laws on his way to the throne.