In an effort to discredit women who have accused him of sexual misconduct around them when they were teenagers, Roy Moore compared the allegations against him to the federal investigations into possible ties between the campaign team of President Donald Trump and Russia.
At a campaign rally in Northeast Alabama on Monday, Moore appeared to indicate his belief that a cadre of political operatives had implanted both stories in the media to “hide the true issues which affect the people of this country and this state that they want resolved,” he said.
“It’s no different than when The Washington Post brought out the Russia investigation at a time when President Trump is trying to get his agenda passed,” Moore said.
The Republican Senate candidate told his supporters at the community center in the one-stoplight Alabama town that the Russia investigations and the allegations of sexual misconduct against him are both attempts to distract from Congress’s inability to pass legislation so far.
“The people of this country want movement,” he said. “They don’t want false attacks like this. And that’s what’s happening.”
The crowd responded with cheers, AL.com reported.
As Election Day, Dec. 12, draws nearer, Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, has tried to flip the accusations against him into a positive for his campaign by painting them as a sinister plot to dislodge his political movement.
Moore, who has made his Christian faith one of the defining elements of his political profile, said his ordeal was a “spiritual battle.”
Outside the rally, one of Moore’s county campaign chairmen, Tony Goolesby, physically accosted a Fox News cameraman trying to film the candidate’s arrival.
Goolesby, who is wearing bifocals and a Moore campaign sticker, can be seen grabbing the TV cameraman’s lens hood and using it to forcefully push the cameraman backward.
In the background, someone can be heard saying, “Follow orders. Go, now. Go!”
Moore’s campaign could not immediately be reached Tuesday to comment on what exactly the orders or guidelines were for media covering the event.
Moore did not take questions at the rally after speaking for 29 minutes, not unusual for political candidates.
Goolesby told reporters at the event Moore would not take questions, AL.com reported. He asked for “no outbursts” multiple times and threatened removal from the event by security.