Roy Moore’s attorney claims MSNBC host is too ‘diverse’ to understand Alabama dating norms

Why would Roy Moore need a mom's permission to date her daughter?

CREDIT: MSNBC/Screenshot
CREDIT: MSNBC/Screenshot

In a rambling interview on Wednesday morning, Roy Moore’s attorney, Trenton Garmon, tried to explain and defend the way Moore is responding to various accusations of sexually abusing young girls. When hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle asked why Moore would need to ask a girl’s parents for permission to date her, Garmon suggested that Velshi comes from a “diverse background” and could not understand Alabama culture.

“Culturally speaking, obviously there’s differences,” Garmon began. “I looked up Ali’s background there, and wow, that’s awesome you’ve got such a diverse background. It’s really cool to read through that.”

Before he could continue, Ruhle pounced, demanding to know what Velshi’s background has to do with dating 14-year-old girls.

“In other countries, there’s arrangement through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriage —”

“Ali’s from Canada,” Ruhle countered.

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

Eventually, Garmon tried to explain that Moore would ask for a mother’s permission to date a girl of any age, “whether they were 25, 35, or whether he doesn’t know their age,” calling it a “clear culturally acceptable process to get permission of a parent.” He admitted that he would not give permission if his own daughter were 14 and being courted by a 32-year-old man, but he knows of “no better man” than Roy Moore.

The interview continued, but after it ended, Ruhle and Velshi addressed the comments that had been made. “What in the world were we talking about — other countries? — and what country is it that you are from or where you visited?” Ruhle asked. “There’s nothing cultural about my background that’d help me to understand that conversation was about,” Velshi replied.

“I feel sad for the people of Alabama,” Ruhle continued, “who are trying so hard to get out from under a completely unfair stereotype, and then we’re taken right back into, well, you people are from some different parts and we live a different way here. You know what? Everyone in this country no matter what community you’re part of, no matter what culture you’re connected to, we believe in the rule of law.”

Garmon gave a similarly incoherent interview Friday night to CNN’s Don Lemon, where he tried to give Lemon a nickname. “I hope that I’d be able to give you the name ‘Don Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy,’ right?” he said at the top of the interview. “You’ll take it easy on me.”

When Garmon tried to use the nickname again, Lemon corrected him. “It’s just Lemon,” he said. “My mom didn’t name me ‘Don Lemon keep it easy squeezy.’ It’s just Don Lemon.”

Garmon spent much of his MSNBC interview defending his own credentials as a lawyer and reinforcing debunked reports about reporters paying for dirt on Moore, but he offered no new information to substantiate Moore’s claims that the accusations against him are false.