While Republican leaders denounce Senate candidate Roy Moore after accusations of him sexually assaulting and dating teenage girls, the judge's attorney, Trenton Garmon, has defended his client by utilizing coded racism.
When Garmon appeared on
MSNBC Live With Velshi & Ruhle,
he was grilled on the accusations and the weakness of Moore's defense that he only approached minors after asking their mothers' permission to pursue them.
"Why would he need permission from any of these girls' mothers if they weren't underage?" Stephanie Ruhle asked, with co-host Ali Velshi nodding by her side. Garmon pivoted the question towards Velshi, replying, "Culturally speaking, I would say there's differences. I looked up Ali's background there and, wow, that's awesome that you have got such a diverse background. It's really cool to read through that."
Velshi is Canadian; he was born in Kenya and raised by his Gujarati Indian parents in Ontario. He is also Muslim.
"What does Ali's background have to do with dating a 14-year-old?" Ruhle instantly asked. "Please answer. What does Ali Velshi's background have to do with dating children, 14-year-old girls?"
"In other countries, there's arrangement through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriage." Garmon said, likely referencing child marriage, which is widely recognized as a human rights abuse. Ruhle continued to question Garmon's line of thinking, responding, "Ali's from Canada."
"I understand that," replied Garmon. "And Ali's also spent time in other countries."
When Ruhle made the point that she had lived and studied abroad as well, Garmon concluded, ""To answer your question: [Moore] said... his process would be -- before he'd date anybody, whether they're 25, 35, or whether he doesn't know their age -- he would ask the mother's permission."