White House aide: 'No Senate seat more important than ... pedophilia'

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short on Sunday condemned individuals who commit crimes against children, while arguing Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore should be able to defend himself against allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors.

“There’s no Senate seat more important than the notion of child pedophilia. But having said that, he has not been proven guilty, we have to afford him the chance to defend himself," Short said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

A 53-year-old woman accused Moore of initiating sexual contact with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32, The Washington Post reported. Three other women also said Moore approached them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18. 


Moore has denied the allegations, saying they are “completely false,” and suggesting they are a smear campaign.

Short on Sunday condemned those who take advantage of children or teenagers, saying “there’s a special place in hell for people who actually perpetrate these crimes.”

“If more evidence comes out that can prove he did this, then by all means he should be disqualified,” Short said.

However, Short was adamant that Moore should be given the opportunity to defend himself, and the choice should ultimately be left to Alabama voters.

“The people in Alabama know Roy Moore better than we do in D.C.,” Short said. “We have to be very cautious of allegations that are 40 years old that arise a month before Election Day.”

Asked if the White House would involve itself in next month’s special election, Short argued it already had when President Trump endorsed Moore’s primary opponent, Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeSessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff The biggest political upsets of the decade State 'certificate of need' laws need to go MORE (R-Ala.).