NEWS

Roy Moore Lawyer Invokes Canadian Host’s ‘Background’ To Defend Dating Minors

Trenton Garmon brought up cultural "differences" when pressed on the accusations.

11/16/2017 15:34 EST | Updated 11/16/2017 17:42 EST
MSNBC
Trenton Garmon, right, vaguely brought up Canadian journalist Ali Velshi's "background" on Wednesday while defending U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.

An attorney for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore suggested that a Canadian journalist's "background" would help him understand men in their thirties wanting to date underage girls on Wednesday.

The lawyer, Trenton Garmon, vaguely brought up cultural "differences" when pressed about accusations that Moore pursued — and in some cases sexually assaulted — teenage girls when he was in his thirties.

"Why would he need permission from these girls' mothers if they're not underage?" asked MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle.

"Culturally speaking, obviously there's differences," Garmon said. "I looked up Ali's background there, wow, that's awesome that you have got such a diverse background ― it's really cool to read," he said, referring to Ruhle's co-host Ali Velshi.

"What does Ali's background have to do with dating a 14-year-old?" Ruhle asked. "Please answer: What does Ali Velshi's background have do with dating 14-year-old girls?"

"In other countries, there's arrangements through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriage," Garmon responded.

"Ali is from Canada," Ruhle said.

"I don't know where you're going with this, Trenton," Velshi added.

Velshi was born in Kenya and raised in Canada. His parents grew up in South Africa but have Indian ancestry.

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Moore accused of sexually assaulting teens

On Nov. 9, The Washington Post published the accounts of four women, all of whom said Moore pursued them when he was in his thirties and they were in high school. One said he initiated sexual contact when she was only 14-years-old, an offense that would have carried a prison sentence of up to 10 years. On Nov. 13, Beverly Young Nelson came forward to say that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16. Another woman, Gena Richardson, has since said that Moore was "forceful" with her when she was a teen; another woman says she was groped by him as an adult.

Moore, a Republican supporter of President Donald Trump, has maintained his innocence and dismissed the accusations as politically-motivated attacks. He is running against Democrat Doug Jones in a special election to be held in Alabama on Dec. 12.

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