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Roy Moore’s lawyer rants about Indian-origin anchor’s background on live show

The attorney said Ali Velshi’s “background” should help understand why Moore would court underage women.

world Updated: Nov 15, 2017 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Roy Moore,Alabama,Ali Velshi
Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the US Senate in Alabama, in tyhe city of Jackson on November 14, 2017.(AFP)

The attorney for Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the US Senate in Alabama, went into a bizarre tirade on an MSNBC news programme, telling the Indian-origin anchor that his “background” should help understand why Moore would court underage women.

Moore has been accused of sexually assaulting several underage women. After the allegations came to light, the former judge claimed he never approached any of the minors without asking their mothers if he could date them.

Lawyer Trenton Garmon, appearing on the programme Live With Velshi & Ruhle, was being grilled by anchors Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle on that defence when the rant began.

“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,” he said, ostensibly referring to Ali’s being born in Kenya.

When asked to explain his statement, Garmon said: “In other countries, there’s arrangement through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriage.”

When Ruhle pointed out that Ali is a Canadian citizen, Garmon rambled about how Velshi had “also spent time in other countries.”

When Velshi attempted to move Garmon along, the lawyer said: “To answer your question, he (Moore) said... 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.”

After Garmon left, the anchors brought up the lawyer’s statement about Velshi’s background again. “I feel bad for the people of Alabama, who are trying to get out from under a completely unfair stereotype, and then we are taken right back... Well you know what, everybody in this country, no matter what part of the world you are from, we believe in the rule of law,” Ruhle said at the end of the segment.

Velshi, an Ismaili Muslim, was born in Nairobi and raised in Canada by parents who hailed from Gujarat. His father is Murad Velshi — the first Indian-origin politician to serve in Ontario’s legislative assembly.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 23:30 IST