'Maybe Putin is right': Roy Moore remark on same-sex marriage resurfaces (Guardian U.S.)

‘Maybe Putin is right’: Roy Moore remark on same-sex marriage resurfaces

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A video of controversial Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore telling a Guardian reporter “maybe Putin was right” to condemn same-sex marriage has been widely shared online as election day in Alabama draws closer.

The video was shared this week by CNN, which was itself targeted by Donald Trump on Friday night at a rally just across the Florida border, in Pensacola, and on Twitter on Saturday morning. At the rally – and on Twitter – the president urged supporters to vote for Moore against his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, on Tuesday.

Moore has been dogged by accusations – which he denies – of sexual misconduct with teenaged girls, the youngest of them 14 and when he was in his 30s. On Friday an admission by one accuser that she had annotated what she says is Moore’s signature in her 1977 high-school yearbook prompted controversy and a stinging attack by Trump.

In the realclearpolitics.com average of polls, Moore leads Jones by 2.3 percentage points.

In the Guardian video, made during the Alabama Republican primary last summer as part of the Anywhere but Washington series, Moore is asked about his support, as a hard-line Christian conservative, for Trump, a hard-living New York billionaire who has been married three times, accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women – accusations he denies – and settled criminal cases.

Asked by reporter Paul Lewis how many of the Ten Commandments he thinks Trump has broken, Moore says: “You might have to ask him but I wouldn’t know.”

Asked who would, he answers: “God. I don’t [have that channel of communication] either so I couldn’t answer the question. How many commandments did David in the Bible break? You reckon? He put him king. So I think God knows the heart of men.

“Everyone else says it’s the Russians [put Trump in the White House], I think it was the providential hand of God. I think it was by providence that he was placed there, yes.”



‘The perfect Alabama candidate’: Republicans warm to Vladimir Putin

Aides to Trump have come under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, which intelligence agencies believe aimed to tilt the contest against Hillary Clinton and in favour of Trump.

Two campaign aides, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, have pleaded guilty to felony charges. Two more, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, have been indicted and pleaded not guilty.

Trump has nonetheless spoken favourably of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. What, Moore was asked in the Guardian video, would the great Republican president Ronald Reagan think of such proximity between an American president and his Russian counterpart?

“You know,” Moore said, “one thing I’ve learned in politics is not to think for somebody else. And to suss what Ronald Reagan would think, I just couldn’t simply begin.”

Told that Reagan said Russia was the focus of evil in the modern world, Moore answered: “You could say that very well about America, couldn’t you? Well, we promote a lot of bad things, you know?”

Asked for an example, he said: “Same-sex marriage.”

Moore has been removed from the Alabama supreme court twice – first for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments he erected outside the court building and then for refusing to follow the US supreme court and make same-sex marriage the law of the land.

To the suggestion “that’s the very argument that Vladimir Putin makes” about same-sex marriage, Moore told Lewis: “Well, then maybe Putin is right. Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know.”

Asked what he would say to Putin should he meet him, Moore said “hello, how are you” in Russian.

“I studied Russian at one time,” he said, laughing, “at the United States military academy at West Point. And that’s about all I could say to him.”

General

via Guardian U.S. http://bit.ly/2szDb9W

December 9, 2017 at 05:36AM