"It never happened... If you abuse a 14-year-old you shouldn't be a Senate candidate. I agree with that," Moore said. "But I did not do that."
In his first interview since the Washington Post published the explosive allegations regarding his sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl in 1979, Moore - the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alabama - appeared on Sean Hannity's radio show Friday. The former Alabama Supreme Court justice told the host that:
“These allegations are completely false and misleading,” Moore said.
“But more than that, it hurts me personally because, you know I’m a father. I have one daughter. I have five granddaughters. And I have a special concern for the protections of young ladies. This is really hard to get on radio and explain this. These allegations are just completely false.”
“I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody," Moore said.
As The Hill reports, The Washington Post also reported allegations from three other women, who said they were underaged when Moore pursued romantic or sexual relationships with them, and another woman who said he provided her alcohol when she was underaged. In the interview, Moore did not deny the possibility he dated women who were younger than 18 when he was in his 30s, but pointed out that most of the women in their accounts to the newspaper do not claim inappropriate sexual behavior.
“Obviously there was never any sexual activity ... the behavior was altogether appropriate according to them,” he said.
Moore acknowledged that he remembers two of the women named in the report: Debbie Wesson Gibson, who was 17 in her account, and Gloria Thacker Deason, who was 18 at the time of her alleged relationship with Moore.
He said he does not remember whether he dated either of them, but does not recall "specific dates."
“This was 40 years ago and after my return from the military, I dated a lot of young ladies," he said.
When asked if he remembered dating any woman who was in her late teens while he was a 30-something, Moore said, “not generally, no" and that it would be "out of my customary behavior."
“I don’t remember that, and I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother," he added.
“I knew her as a friend; if we did go out on dates then we did, but I do not remember that," he said of Gibson, who called her relationship with Moore “inappropriate” in hindsight to The Washington Post, due to their age difference.
Deason “believes she was younger than 19,” the legal drinking age in Alabama at the time, when Moore would order her alcohol on dates, she told the newspaper. Moore disputed that.
“As I recall she was 19 or older,” he said.
“I remember her as a good girl.”
Intriguingly, Moore then told Hannity that they "have some evidence of collusion" but are not ready to release that to the public just yet...
here is audio of roy moore telling hannity allegations against him are coordinated effort to defeat his campaign and they have evidence of collusion but they aren't ready to put it out yet pic.twitter.com/1lsqjtrQ3m— Alazar Moges (@zarzarbinkss) November 10, 2017
Following the interview, Moore released a full statement:
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — On Friday afternoon Judge Roy Moore issued a statement responding to the Was hington Post's baseless attacks on his character:
"Yesterday. I made a statement that the allegations described in a Washington Post article against me about s exual impropriety were false.
"It has been a tough 24 hours because my wife and I were blindsided by an article based on a lie supported by innuendo.
"It seems that in the political arena, to say that something is not true is simply not good enough.
"So let me be clear
"I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct. As a father of a daughter and a grandfather of five granddaughters, I condemn the actions of any man who engages in sexual misconduct not just against minors but against any woman.
"I also believe that any person who has been abused should feel the liberty to come forward and seek protection.
"I know that a lot of people wonder why this story was written. Why would women say these things if they are not true? I can't fully answer that because as much as I have disagreed vehemently on political issues with many people over the years, I cannot understand the mentality of using such a dangerous lie to try to personally destroy someone.
"As a former Judge and administer of the law, I take the protection of our innocent as one of my most sacred callings. False allegations are gravely serious and will have a profound consequence on those who are truly harassed or molested.
"I strongly urge the Washington Post, and everyone involved, to tell the truth.
"That is all we can do. and I trust that the people of Alabama, who know my record after 40 years of public service, will vouch for my character and commitment to the rule of law."
Finally, AP reports that the Alabama Secretary of State has confirmed that it is too close to the vote for the Moore's name to be removed from the ballot.