A PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is lying about Judge Roy Moore, the frontrunner GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, in a blatantly false attack ad about Moore’s position on President Donald Trump’s border wall.
The attack ad—which is demonstrably untrue and out of context, and splices together videos from two separate events to make it look like Moore said something he did not say—comes from Senate Leadership Fund. The Senate Leadership Fund is a group helmed by Steven Law, GOP anti-Trump consultant Karl Rove’s longtime partner at American Crossroads, and is associated with McConnell.
“Who will fight with President Trump to change Washington?” a narrator asks in the new ad. “Not career politician Roy Moore. He’s on the wrong side of Trump’s border wall.”
“I’m going to tell you a little secret: Does it take a wall? I don’t think it would take a wall,” Moore says in video played in the ad.
The ad sounds damning. But in reality, it is not. The video is taken badly out of context, and includes two videos from two separate events spliced together to make it sound like Moore does not support the wall—when he actually does. The level to which Senate Leadership Fund went to deceive viewers of this ad is remarkable, and shows the desperation of Moore opponent Luther Strange’s campaign.
The first part of the quote—“I’m going to tell you a little secret: Does it take a wall?”—is from an Aug. 19 event that Moore did at the Etowah County GOP breakfast.
At press time, Breitbart News has been unable to find the full video of the Aug. 19 event. Since it was shot looking up at Moore from an odd angle, it appears to have been shot by an opposition research video tracker—low level campaign or PAC staffers political operatives send to film candidates they want to lose to try to catch them in a gaffe. But, that quote by itself does not demonstrate anything bad. Asking the question of whether it takes a wall to secure the border is exactly what President Donald Trump did all throughout the 2016 GOP presidential election.
To make the attack complete against Moore, however, Senate Leadership Fund in the next quote included one sentence of a video from Moore’s appearance at a candidate forum on July 31 in Wetumpka, Alabama, hosted by the Wetumpka Tea Party. That event came before the primary’s first round of voting on Aug. 15, which saw Moore and Strange advance to the Sept. 26 runoff less than two weeks from now.
The one sentence from Moore at that event that the McConnell-affiliated Senate Leadership Fund used is: “I don’t think it would take a wall.”
Sounds bad, right? Well, not so fast. The full video proves that Moore actually does support building a wall. The full video is available on Moore’s Facebook page, which his team streamed live on the night of July 31. The full quote where Moore was talking about the wall is below, with bold emphasis added to highlight the key points:
Border security is one of the most principled issues we got before the Senate and the House today. I think we need something to stop illegal aliens flowing across our borders because they are a danger to our republic, they are a danger to our homes and our families and we can do something. I support using federal troops and National Guard to stop this. It’s not a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act for anybody that wants that. It specifically recognizes that they can be in support of the Border Patrol and they should be. Both Presidents in the past—Republican and Democrat—have used the federal government in such a manner. Now, having said that, if they can’t stop it, I would—yes—support a wall being built. But before that I would ask the states to allow the states like Arizona, when Arizona tried to stop illegal aliens coming across their border which was a violation of the rules of Congress, a court—a judge—stopped them, said they couldn’t do it because the federal government had pre-empted them. Well, I’d like to tell them, the federal courts, that preemption that they have a right to rule on security for the nation, yes. But a state also has a right to, specified in the Constitution, Article I Section Nine it says that migration or importation of certain classes of persons. In other words, it is a recognized right of a sovereign [state] to secure their borders whether it be a state or the federal government. What Arizona was doing was exactly what Congress had said it should be the law. They were upholding the law. And then the courts ruled that Arizona couldn’t do that. We’ve had administrations that don’t know the constitution and let these things go by and then we wind up having to build a wall. If it takes a wall, we should build it. I don’t think it would take a wall. We should use the United States military. This is an action to prevent illegal aliens from coming into our country. If we have Mexicans coming into our country or Asians coming across into our shores, we have every right to use our military in that manner.
Here’s the video:
The relevant quote in its entirety on camera appears at 64:32 until 66:40. Moore’s answer was so popular he drew a round of applause from the audience.
Obviously, to re-emphasize the point, Moore actually says in this exact quote that this false ad is drawn from that “I would—yes—support a wall being built.”
The part of the quote where he was talking about how he does not believe it would take a wall comes from a part of the discussion in which he talks about states, like Arizona, trying to enforce immigration law themselves. Of course he is correct that a wall would not have been needed if illegal immigration was stopped by states before, but that has not happened. So, as he is saying, he supports a wall if necessary–and because out of control federal judges have blocked states from enforcing federal immigration law, a wall is necessary. So Moore supports a wall. It’s really that simple, and insinuation to the contrary is demonstrably inaccurate.
Moore, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News in Montgomery, Alabama before Labor Day, also emphasized his support for the border wall and made the exact same case. Here is the relevant portion of that interview, in which Moore fully embraced Trump’s economic nationalism that former Sen. Jeff Sessions–whose seat Moore is vying for–also espoused:
Moore actually backs Trump when it comes to border security and building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
“I want to see our security return to what it was meant to be and I think we can look at all options and a wall is certainly one of them. It’s certainly something I could support,” Moore said.
Moore also said he backs potentially using the military to secure the border and enforce immigration law.
“I think we could use the military,” he said, noting it has been done by “both Republican and Democrat presidents alike.”
“I think it [illegal immigration] could be stopped immediately using the United States military,” Moore said. “I think it can be stopped. It’s common sense. If you have an enemy flowing over your border, you don’t have to stand back and say we can’t use the military on our borders. Likewise, when you’ve got illegal aliens—and it’s not an illegal immigration problem, it’s an illegal alien problem—it can be stopped and it should be stopped immediately.”
Strange’s campaign spokeswoman Shana Teehan has not responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News on whether Strange disavows this falsified Senate Leadership Fund advertisement, which essentially amounts to a blatant insult against President Trump and his agenda. It’s not the first time Strange has insulted President Trump, either. He has also hired Karl Rove’s ex-chief of staff, a clear insult to President Trump that Strange refuses to apologize for to this day. Strange also refuses to apologize to President Trump for accepting help from Rove’s ally Law at the Senate Leadership Fund.
Katie Frost, a spokeswoman for Moore, however, went at Strange and his allies with fire and fury over the demonstrably false and out-of-context ad. She called on Strange to disavow Senate Leadership Fund over this clearly inaccurate attack, or demonstrate that he is truly an opponent of the president, aligned with the Never Trump movement that Rove oversees.
“Judge Moore is clearly on record supporting the wall, and the use of military personnel to secure our border,” Frost told Breitbart News in an email. “Luther Strange needs to disavow and have no further association with the Senate Leadership Fund and their corrupt consultants. Sadly, he has chosen his NeverTrump establishment ATM over the truth and the people of Alabama, and that is why Judge Moore will be the next US Senator.”
Any association with Rove whatsoever is viewed by President Trump as an insult. President Trump has told Breitbart News he believes Rove is a “dishonorable guy.”
This is hardly the first time Senate Leadership Fund has run blatantly false attack ads in Alabama against the conservative opponents of Luther Strange. Strange was appointed into the Senate seat that now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions by disgraced ex-Gov. Robert Bentley under questionable circumstances. Strange was, as Alabama’s Attorney General, investigating Bentley for a corruption and sex scandal that ultimately forced Bentley to resign. But Bentley appointed Strange into the Sessions U.S. Senate seat before he resigned after Strange asked the Alabama legislature to hold off on impeachment proceedings of Bentley while his office’s investigation progressed.
The murky process by which Strange obtained the U.S. Senate seat prompted now Gov. Kay Ivey to call a special election earlier than previously planned, and the first round of the GOP primary drew in multiple candidates including Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and State Sen. Trip Pittman. On Aug. 15 in the first round of voting, Moore far outperformed polls and Strange badly underperformed expectations as they both advanced to the second round of the primary on Sept. 26 where they face off head-to-head. Strange, despite an endorsement in the first round from President Trump, finished deep back in second place. Trump only endorsed Strange in the first round of voting because Brooks had made nasty comments about him during the 2016 GOP presidential primaries while he was supporting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president. Brooks did end up supporting Trump in the general election against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, while Strange said and did absolutely nothing to help Trump defeat Clinton.
Trump has stayed completely out of the second round of voting, refusing to appear in Alabama or tweet or publicly comment for Strange ahead of the Sept. 26 runoff. White House sources tell Breitbart News that is in large part due to the fact that Strange has insulted the president with his close associations with Rove, who President Trump despises, and because Strange is significantly trailing Moore down by deep into double digits with hardly any room to run. All the attack ads against Moore have not been working, as Moore continues to lead Strange by either 14 or 15 percent in the polls per new surveys published earlier this week.
The battle in Alabama has been shaping up as an epic war between conservatives and the establishment, the first fight of many expected races next year. Other establishment politicians like Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Dean Heller (R-NV), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Bob Corker (R-TN)—among many more—are expected to face serious challenges in 2018 in their primaries. Any association by any of them with the Senate Leadership Fund, after these demonstrably false ads the organization has run in Alabama, will sully those candidates even further than they already are hurting. Strange’s refusal to disavow the inaccurate ads against Moore only hurts him too, as conservatives across the state of Alabama and nationwide are rallying to Moore’s cause as a moral pathway to defeat the GOP establishment in Washington, D.C. and stand up to McConnell.
Moore has secured the endorsements of former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), two-time GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), and many, many more true supporters of President Trump and his agenda.