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Pastor Flip Benham, an anti-abortion extremist and ardent Roy Moore supporter, offered a nauseating defense of the Alabama Senate candidate’s affinity for dating underage girls during a conservative radio show appearance on Monday.

Benham, who lashed out at reporters last week after they deigned to ask him about Moore’s pursuit of teens, told Alabama radio hosts Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg that the former judge dated young women because they were pure. Seriously. Per Right Wing Watch:

“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. By the way, the lady he’s married to now, Ms. Kayla, was a younger woman. He did that because there is something about the purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that’s true, that’s straight and he looked for that.”

Gross and overwhelmingly patriarchal, but what more could we expect from a Christian fundamentalist pastor whose group, “Operation Save America,” argues that abortion is akin to both the Holocaust and slavery? I, for one, am shocked Benham didn’t attempt to compare Moore’s predilection for teens to Doug Jones’ position on abortion as defense— like the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore did on Monday night.

As more women have come forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct, including one woman who accused him of attempted rape, he has continued to deny their allegations. However, when asked last week by Sean Hannity, another one of his resolute defenders, if he had dated girls as young as 16, Moore responded “I don’t dispute that.”

Moore vehemently denies pursuing a 14-year-old when he was in his 30s, a completely unconvincing denial that was apparently enough for President Trump, who effectively endorsed him on Tuesday.

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You can listen to Benham’s interview below: