Hannity Gives in to Pressure; Gives Roy Moore an Ultimatum
Fox News host Sean Hannity has given up defending Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, telling viewers Tuesday night the judge has “24 hours” to explain conflicting answers to the sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies,” Hannity said. “You must remove any doubt. If he can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race.”
Hannity’s escalated remarks came days after critics bashed the conservative host for appearing to defend Moore and suggesting that the accusations against him might be false. The wave of criticism coming from coffee company Keurig and other sponsors to say they would no longer be advertising on Hannity’s Fox News show.
During a Thursday radio show, Hannity asked how one could “possibly tell, know the truth.” He appeared to imply that the alleged encounters were “consensual,” but later apologized and said he misspoke.
Speaking on his Fox News broadcast Thursday night, Hannity said “every single person in this country deserves the presumption of innocence” and that “none of us knows the truth of what happened 38 years ago.”
In an exchange with Hannity on his radio show Friday, Moore did not outright deny dating teenagers when he was in his 30s. When asked if he remembered “dating girls that young at that time” Moore responded “not generally, no,” and said he did not recall ever dating any girl without the permission of the mother.
Tuesday, a day after another woman went public in a news conference with accusations against Moore, Hannity seemed to change his tune.
Moore’s answers, Hannity said, now seemed “inconsistent.”
“You know I do not and will never rush to judgment, because we have seen the media and politicians get it wrong so many times,” he said. But Moore’s conflicting accounts demanded a full explanation, he said.
Two women have accused Moore of initiating sexual contact with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Leigh Corfman told The Washington Post that she was 14 when Moore — then an assistant district attorney in Alabama — took her to his house and touched her sexually. Beverly Young Nelson said at a news conference Monday that she was 16 when Moore sexually assaulted her and bruised her neck. Three other women interviewed by The Post said Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.