Roy Moore’s Lawyer Cites MSNBC Host’s “Diverse” Background to Defend Dating Underage Girls

Ali Velshi is from Canada.

Amid multiple accusations that Roy Moore sexually assaulted and pursued teenage girls, the embattled US Senate candidate’s lawyer appeared on MSNBC Wednesday morning and argued that a host’s “diverse” background should help him understand why an adult man would need the permission of a minor’s mother before pursuing her.

The host, Ali Velshi, grew up in Canada. He was born in Kenya, but the attorney may have been referring to Velshi’s Indian heritage. 

“Culturally speaking there are differences,” Trenton Garman said on MSNBC’s Velshi and Ruhle. “I looked up Ali’s background there and, wow, that’s awesome that you have such a diverse background—it’s really cool to read that.”

Co-host Stephanie Ruhle swiftly interjected, asking why Veshi’s background would explain a man’s pursuit of a teenage girl.

“In other countries, there’s an arrangement through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriages,” Garman said, before Ruhle stepped in again to clarify that Velshi was from Canada.

“I understand that,” Garman said. “And Ali’s also spent time in other countries.” 

“So have I,” Ruhle shot back.

The segment comes as the latest in a series of increasingly bizarre defenses Moore’s supporters have mounted in the face of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against the former judge. Despite Republican calls for him to step aside in next month’s special election in Alabama, Moore has remained defiant, vowing to sue the Washington Post for first reporting on the claims, as well as his accusers.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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