Bannon to stick with Moore, say people close to Breitbart chief

Sources close to Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon insist he is sticking by embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) even as high-profile conservatives cut ties with the candidate less than a month before election day.

People who have spoken with Bannon and others who are familiar with his thinking say reports that he is having second thoughts about his support for Moore are overcooked.

The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Bannon is privately discussing whether the allegations of sexual misconduct about Moore have become too serious to overcome. Bannon could be looking to save his political capital for the scores of primary challenges he’s planning for Republican senators up for reelection in 2018, the report says.

{mosads}But sources tell The Hill that Bannon is still slated to rally support for Moore at a campaign stop in early December and said other events could be in the works.

Breitbart already has two reporters on the ground in Alabama writing stories that are favorable to Moore or that raise questions about his accusers. On Wednesday, a third Breitbart reporter arrived to join the effort.

Bannon is in Japan and returns this week. One source who has spoken with him in the past 24 hours said he remains unequivocally in Moore’s corner.

“The locusts in the fake news media at swamp newspapers who do the bidding of the political establishment and failed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are 100 percent incorrect in stating that Stephen K. Bannon is abandoning Judge Roy Moore,” the source said. “That’s 100 percent false.”

Three women have accused Moore of courting them as teenagers when he was a district attorney in his 30s. Another woman has accused Moore of molesting her when she was 14 and another has accused him of violently sexually assaulting her when she was a minor. 

Moore has denied the allegations, though he has left open the possibility that he might have dated much younger women, including teenagers, while in his 30s.

Moore suffered a setback on Wednesday after Fox News Channel anchor Sean Hannity, who had been a staunch prime-time ally, gave him a 24-hour ultimatum to clean up inconsistencies in his story about whether he ever dated teenagers.

Massively influential conservative news aggregator Matt Drudge piled on, linking on his homepage to the Daily Beast story about Bannon cutting Moore loose and referring to the GOP candidate as “Judge Whore.”

In a tweet, Drudge also took a shot at Bannon, saying Moore’s problems showed politics should be left “to the professionals.”

Moore has few allies left to lose after the Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) cut their ties with him.

McConnell is openly discussing a write-in campaign against Moore and NRSC chairman Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) has said if Moore wins election the Senate should refuse to seat him.

Republicans are panicked over tightening polls in Alabama and the prospect of being tied to Moore in their own election campaigns next year.

Bannon and his allies are taking notice. They are frustrated at Hannity, who they believe has buckled under pressure. And they say they will bury Moore if they come to believe he has been lying to them about his actions.

But for now, they’re brightened by the support Moore has received from Alabama GOP officials and by a Fox10 poll of 3,000 Alabamians released Tuesday that found Moore with a 6-point lead, down from 11 in October.

When asked if the allegations against Moore would lead them to change their vote, 36 percent of respondents said they would vote for Moore anyway and 35 percent said the allegations made them more likely to support him. Only 11 percent said the allegations made it less likely they’d vote for Moore and 18 percent said they were undecided or that the allegations made no difference at all.

Bannon’s allies say they’ll continue their campaign for Moore. Breitbart is working furiously to uncover stories that might raise questions about the allegations or stem the tide against him. 

“As we’ve seen since these politically motivated allegations about Judge Moore have come out in the past week, the people of Alabama see through Mitch McConnell’s gamesmanship,” the source close to Bannon said.

“The polls demonstrate the fact that Judge Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama, remains the favorite to win on Dec. 12. Bannon is strongly supportive of the judge and like the people of Alabama and Republicans across the country, believes it’s time for Mitch McConnell to step aside for the good of the Republican Party so new fresh strong leadership can emerge and help President Trump enact his agenda.”

Tags Alabama Breitbart Cory Gardner Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Roy Moore
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