Prominent evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. is defending Republican Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore in the wake of an explosive Washington Post report that accuses Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor in 1979.
“It comes down to a question who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser,” Falwell Jr. told the Religious News Service (RNS) in emailed remarks published Friday
“The same thing happened to President Trump a few weeks before his election last year except it was several women making allegations,” he continued, referring to the "Access Hollywood" tape where Trump can be heard bragging about groping and kissing women without their consent. “He denied that any of them were true and the American people believed him and elected him the 45th president of the United States."
Falwell noted that Moore has denied the allegations against him.
“And I believe the judge is telling the truth,” he added.
Fallwell Jr.'s comments come after the Post quoted Leigh Corfman, now 53, as saying Moore kissed her, touched her over her underwear and attempted to place her hand over his underwear when she was 14 years old and he was 32.
The report also quotes three other women on the record who say Moore approached them when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers, but that no sexual contact occurred outside of kissing in some of those cases.
Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE's former Senate seat. The special election is set for Dec. 12.
But many in the conservative Christian community have rallied to defend him.
“I don’t think this kind of story will change support for him among Christians since he has categorically denied it. Most will see it as dirty politics,” Falwell Jr. told RNS.
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler cited the Bible to defend Moore.
“Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus," Zeigler told the Washington Examiner.
Moore has vehemently denied the accusations and said he will refuse to stand down.
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore said in a statement Thursday.
"The forces of evil are on the march in our country ... I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values," Moore wrote in an email on Thursday.