The Rev. Philip "Flip" Benham, who is the father of twin brothers Jason and David Benham, says Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was attracted to younger women because of their "purity." Moore has been accused of sexually molesting several underage girls.
In an interview with Alabama radio hosts Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg on their "Matt & Aunie" show, Benham defended Moore against the sexual molestation allegations, arguing that 40 years ago there were not many age-appropriate women available for Moore.
"I think that, number one, you need to understand, 40 years ago, what the Sitz im Leben was like in Alabama," Benham told the hosts. "Judge Roy Moore graduated from West Point and then went on into the service, served in Vietnam and then came back and was in law school. All of the ladies, or many of the ladies that he possibly could have married were not available then, they were already married, maybe, somewhere. So he looked in a different direction and always with the [permission of the] parents of younger ladies ... He did that because there is something about a purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that's true, that's straight and he looked for that."
Murphy and Lindenberg challenged that argument, however, by arguing that Moore's longtime wife, Kayla, wasn't pure in that sense when he made her his wife because Moore was not her first husband.
Stumped by the challenge, Benham then asked the hosts if an adult man can "date and court a young lady who is 14 years old with their parents' consent."
When the hosts turned the question around on him and asked if an adult man could date a 10-year-old girl with her parents' consent, he stumbled.
"I don't think that that would happen," he replied, noting that the question was just "another logical fallacy."
Despite Moore's denial of the accusations against him, the women involved continue to insist he is a predator.
A week ago, Alabama resident Beverly Young Nelson became the latest of five women to accuse Moore of sexually pursuing them as teenagers. She said at a press conference in New York City with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred that during an encounter with Moore when she was just 16, she thought Moore was "going to rape me."
Leigh Corfman, another accuser, also alleged in a Washington Post report that she was 14 years old in early 1979 when she met Moore as she waited outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Alabama. He allegedly told her how pretty she was and kissed her when he was alone with her. In another encounter, Moore allegedly took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. She said he touched her over her bra and underpants and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
She defended her claims in an interview with NBC's "Today" on Monday and insisted that she was not paid to tell her story.
When asked what he thought about the ongoing controversy just weeks before Moore faces off with Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election to fill the Senate post once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Donald Trump told reporters that Moore "denies it."
"Look, he denies it. If you look at what is really going on, if you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn't happen. And you know you have to look at him also. He says, 40 years ago, this did not happen," Trump said, according to CNN.
When asked if he will be campaigning for Moore, Trump replied: "I'll be letting you know next week. But I can tell you, you don't need somebody who's soft on crime like [Democratic nominee Doug Jones]."