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Roy Moore lawyer brings up Ali Velshi's 'background' while defending client from underage sex allegations

by Daniella Silva /
Roy Moore's Attny. Trenton Garmon suggests Ali Velshi's "background" would help him understand why Moore would date underage women -- Ali Velshi is from Canada.MSNBC

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The lawyer for Roy Moore brought up an MSNBC anchor’s “background” when defending the embattled GOP Alabama Senate candidate over allegations he sexually harassed and pursued romantic and sexual relationships with underage girls.

Lawyer Trenton Garmon was discussing the claims against Moore on MSNBC's "Live with Velshi & Ruhle" on Wednesday when he brought up anchor Ali Velshi’s background while defending his client.

Anchor Stephanie Ruhle asked Garmon, “Why would he need permission from any of these girl’s mothers if they aren't underage?"

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“Sure, that’s a good question. Culturally speaking, and obviously there is differences, I looked up Ali’s background there and wow that is awesome that you have got such a diverse background,” Garmon replied. “And it is really cool to read through that.”

“What does Ali’s background have to do with dating a 14-year-old?” Ruhle asked.

Garmon began to reply that he was not finished with the context of his remark, when Ruhle interjected, “Please answer: What does Ali Velshi’s background have to do with dating children, 14 year old girls?”

“In other countries, there is an arrangement through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriage,” Garmon said.

“Ali is from Canada,” Ruhle said.

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

“So have I,” Ruhle responded.

"Which I’ve gone to. So it’s not a bad thing," Garmon said.

"I don’t know where you are going with this, Trenton," Velshi said.

Velshi was born in Kenya and raised in Toronto.

Garmon then continued to defend Moore saying that he would ask for a mother’s permission to date their daughter regardless of how old they were.

Five women have accused Moore of sexually harassing, assaulting, or making advances towards them when they were teenagers. On Monday, Beverly Young Nelson became the first woman to accuse Moore of assault, describing an alleged incident when she was 16 and Moore was 30.

The claims were first reported by The Washington Post report last week, where one woman said Moore had initiated unwanted sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32.

The Post also interviewed three other women who claim Moore had "pursued" them when they were 16 to 18 and he was in his 30s.

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