A pastor in Alabama mentioned he acquired a voice mail Tuesday from a person falsely claimed to be a reporter with The Washington Post and in search of ladies “willing to make damaging remarks” about Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in trade for cash. The name comes days after The Post reported on allegations that 70-year-old Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old woman almost 4 many years in the past, sparking calls by some Republicans for him to desert his marketing campaign for the U.S. Senate in a particular election to be held Dec. 12.
Pastor Al Moore of Creola, Ala., mentioned that he acquired the decision on his cellphone a little bit after 7 a.m. Tuesday from a personal quantity, which he didn’t reply. The caller, claiming to be “Bernie Bernstein,” left a 27-second voicemail, which Moore performed for native CBS-affiliate WKRG.
“I’m a reporter for the Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old, willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between 5,000 and 7,000 dollars,” the caller mentioned within the voice mail.
The caller mentioned he wouldn’t be “fully investigating these claims” however would make a written report. He mentioned he could possibly be reached by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moore mentioned he talked about the decision to a few members of the church and shortly realized that it didn’t add up. The caller first referred to himself as “Bernie” after which later gave his identify as “Al.” Moore additionally despatched an electronic mail to the handle left within the voice mail, which bounced again.
His church, the Fountain Of Faith Baptist Church, posted on Facebook Tuesday morning a few name from an “Al Bernstein at the Washington Post. Hmmmm.”
Marty Baron, government editor of the The Washington Post, mentioned that the caller’s reporting strategies bear “no relationship to reality.”
“The Post has just learned that at least one person in Alabama has received a call from someone falsely claiming to be from The Washington Post,” Baron mentioned in an announcement to WKRG. “The call’s description of our reporting methods bears no relationship to reality. We are shocked and appalled that anyone would stoop to this level to discredit real journalism.”
John Rogers, a spokesman for the Roy Moore marketing campaign, couldn’t be instantly reached by The Post. He instructed WKRG reporter Bill Riales that he hadn’t beforehand heard concerning the name.
Al Moore instructed Riales that he’s on no account associated to Roy Moore, regardless that they share the identical final identify. The pastor mentioned he thought the voicemail was from a robocall meant to fire up an already divisive race, and he reached out to WKRG as a result of “people are just going crazy with this.”
“Let’s let the people who are investigating do their job and expose it if it’s real, and shut it if it’s not,” he mentioned.
In The Post’s investigation printed final week, Leigh Corfman alleged that Roy Moore initiated a sexual encounter along with her in 1979, when she was 14 years previous and he was 32. Three different ladies, all on the report, have mentioned that Roy Moore pursued them after they had been between 16 and 18 years previous. A fifth lady got here ahead on Monday, saying Roy Moore sexually assaulted her within the 1970s when she was 16.
Since The Post’s report, the fact-checking web site Snopes debunked unsubstantiated rumors that The Post had paid Corfman to go on the report and accuse Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. Post spokeswoman Molly Gannon Conway known as the accusation “categorically false,” including that The Post has “an explicit policy that prohibits paying sources.”
Neither Corfman nor any of the opposite ladies sought out The Post. While reporting a narrative in Alabama about supporters of Roy Moore’s Senate marketing campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage women. Over the following three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the 4 ladies. All had been initially reluctant to talk publicly however selected to take action after a number of interviews, saying they thought it was necessary for individuals to find out about their interactions with Moore. The ladies say they don’t know each other.
Roy Moore has denied the allegations, and has confirmed no indication that he intends to bow out of the race. Speaking at Walker Springs Road Baptist Church in rural south Alabama Tuesday night, the senate candidate mentioned he is aware of he has “made a few people mad.”
“I’m the only one who can unite Democrats and Republicans, because I’m opposed by both. They’ve done everything they could, and now they are together to try to keep me from going to Washington,” Moore mentioned.
Voters in Alabama instructed The Post that they really feel torn concerning the allegations. Some evangelicals in Alabama nonetheless think about Moore a champion of their religion — a politician prepared to face up for Christian values. But different evangelicals really feel the allegations pressure them to make an uncomfortable determination.
Al Moore, the pastor, mentioned he’s on the fence about whether or not to vote for Roy Moore.
“I’m a pastor and I’m conservative, and so is Roy Moore, but I’m not dumb,” he mentioned. “I don’t know whether the guy is guilty or not. I’m on the fence until we know more.”
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