CNN host Anderson Cooper and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's spokesperson engaged in a heated exchange.
CNN host Anderson Cooper engaged in a heated exchange with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's spokesperson about the embattled Republican's controversial views on issues ranging from homosexuality to the 9/11 terrorist attacks during a contentious interview on Wednesday night.
Janet Porter, a conservative activist from Ohio and Moore's spokesperson, described as a coordinated media-led "lynch mob" the allegations from eight women who say Moore pursued romantic relations with them — and, in some cases, sexually assaulted them — when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Porter compared the accusations against Moore to false accusations of sexual assault made against several Duke University lacrosse players in 2006.
"First off, when we talk about believing the women, I would ask the question of maybe some lacrosse players at Duke University, ask them if they believe every woman who makes an accusation," Porter said. "If we did a lynch mob media against innocent people as we did with lacrosse, there would be some lacrosse players in jail right now."
Porter repeatedly characterized the Alabama special election, which will be held on December 12, as a battle between Christian values and "leftists," calling Democratic candidate Doug Jones "abortion Jones" on multiple occassions. She accused Jones of welcoming sexual predation by supporting gender-neutral bathrooms.
"If you are a junior high school girl or if you are a high school girl, what abortion Jones is saying we're putting out a welcome mat to any boy who's feeling like a girl that day," she said. "He's free to walk into the bathroom, the locker room with his camera phone and shower with your daughter."
Moore has consistently stoked anti-transgender sentiment in Alabama.
"The transgenders don’t have rights,” Moore said at a press conference last month. "They've never been denominated as having rights by the US Supreme Court."
Porter refused to answer Cooper's questions about Moore's stated past beliefs — that homosexuality should be illegal, that former President Barack Obama was not born in the US, that Muslims should not be permitted to serve in Congress, that some American communities are living under Sharia law, and that 9/11 may have been caused by Americans "distancing" themselves from God.
"I get you don't want to answer these questions and that's cool but I'd rather you just say you don't want to answer them rather than just ignore them," Cooper said after Porter repeatedly dodged his questions.
"I'm answering them," Porter insisted. "He picks the Constitution over Sharia law and the people of Alabama agree."