Fox News host Sean Hannity said Thursday night he "was not totally clear" earlier in the day when he dismissed allegations that former Alabama judge and Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls.
"As I said on TV tonight, I apologize when I misspoke and was not totally clear earlier today. It’s really sad when the lazy media in this country cuts and pastes a deceptive and out-of-context comment by a Soros-funded, radical, left-wing group that has purposefully taken me out of context for years," Hannity said on his Fox News show and later reiterated on Twitter. "My comments on the topic of Judge Moore were clear and unambiguous both on radio and on TV."
Hannity was responding to criticism following reports that he had said that the alleged sexual acts between Roy Moore and a 14-year-old girl were "consensual."
These reports appeared to confuse what Hannity said as he, while mid-sentence on his radio program, was prompted to answer Lynda McLaughlin's comments about the alleged acts between Moore and 17- and 18-year-old girls.
"How do you possibly tell, know the truth, except — Okay, so, the two other girls were older in this case. He was apparently, like, 32, and he dated — one girl was 18, one girl was 17, they never said he did — there was no sexual — there was kissing involved, and then they're saying this one encounter with a 14-year-old —," Hannity said, according to a transcript published by Media Matters.
"And it was consensual," McLaughlin interjected.
Hannity then replied: "And consensual, that's true. And there's, you know — I just — I don't know how you find out the truth."
. @seanhannity was clearly caught up in cross-talk on his radio show. He was not referring to a 14-year-old girl, he was referring to what he said earlier. This happens a lot on radio. You can attack him on a million other issues but this attack is patently unfair. pic.twitter.com/bDa2XH16S7— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) November 10, 2017
Hannity later explained that he was not calling alleged acts between the 14-year-old girl and Moore consensual.
The allegations against Moore were first published by the Washington Post and include accounts from four women, who at the time of the alleged incidents were between the ages of 14 and 18. They said Moore took them on dates and invited them to his home in the woods. One of which, Leigh Corfman, who was 14 at the time, said the former judge took her to his residence and initiated sexual contact.