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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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