Speed Reads

Roy Moore

Breitbart News is running interference for Roy Moore amid reports of sexual impropriety with teenagers

Shortly before The Washington Post published its bombshell report in which four women said on the record that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Senate in Alabama, had come on to them when they were teenagers as young as 14, Breitbart News published a pre-emptive article casting the Post article as a political hit job. "Breitbart News obtained details of the forthcoming Post story from the newspaper's letter detailing the allegations sent to Moore's campaign for comment," the site explained.

Breitbart did recount the most serious allegation — that Moore befriended a 14-year-old girl while her mother was at a custody hearing, then drove her to his house on two separate occasions, the second time removing her shirt and pants and moving her hand over his underwear — but also published a strong denial from Moore and cast doubt on the accuracy the Post's motives and reporting. The site also downplayed the allegations that Moore hit on and took out older teenage girls, saying that a woman who was 17 when she dated the 30-something Moore "characterized Moore as being romantic, reading poetry to her, and playing the guitar. The woman is cited saying that physical contact only involved kissing and did not progress any further."

On MSNBC, Breitbart editor Joel Pollack reiterated that point, saying that "any story of sexual misconduct especially with someone who is underage is very serious," but that the relationships between a 32-year-old public prosecutor and girls age 16, 17, and 18 are "perfectly legitimate relationships."

Breitbart's executive editor is Stephen Bannon, Moore's most prominent outside backer during the Republican primary.