Scandal-ridden Senate candidate Roy Moore is suing a conservative media outlet for $40 million alleging “fake news,” as he runs his second campaign in three years for the same Alabama seat.
The Alabama Republican lost to Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., in a 2017 special election, after facing multiple accusations during the campaign that he had pursued romantic relationships with teenage girls while he was in his 30s. Moore filed the suit against Washington Examiner on Monday.
“Like the people of Alabama, I am sick and tired of ‘fake news’ by media organizations which pretend to print the truth but in reality, are politically and philosophically motivated to distort the true facts for their own ends,” he said in a statement. “Unlike some who choose to suffer in silence, I have decided to fight back!”
Then-candidate Roy Moore walks off the stage with wife Kayla Moore after an election-night watch party at the RSA activity center, in Montgomery, Ala., on Dec. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
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The suit against Washington Examiner publishers, editors and writers is for $40 million total, including $10 million for “defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress” and another $30 million in punitive damages.
Examiner writers and editors Tiana Lowe, Jerry Dunleavy, Brad Polumbo, Phillip Klein and Timothy Carney are the named defendants in the suit, along with multiple media companies that back the Examiner and Clarity Media Group owner Philip Anschutz.
The specific headlines Moore’s lawsuit cites include “GOP nightmare as Alabama’s Roy Moore signals he might run again” and “If Alabamans vote for Roy Moore, they deserve Doug Jones.”
Under the second headline, Lowe wrote, “Roy Moore, famous for being banned from a mall because he sexually preyed on underage girls and losing a Senate race in an R+14 state, apparently wants another round at the rodeo.”
Representatives with The Washington Examiner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The suit is unlikely to succeed. There is a very high standard of proof in defamation suits in the U.S., especially suits involving public figures. Additionally, the allegations against Moore have been widely reported.
Moore has been largely cast out of the Republican Party due to the allegations of inappropriate relationships. While President Trump backed his 2017 campaign after he won the primary, the president turned on Moore, tweeting last year that, “Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama.”
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“This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t,” Trump said.
In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Moore’s campaign said the suit alleges “false and malicious statements made to disparage, intimidate, and libel the character, reputation, and integrity of Judge Roy Moore.”
The statement also notes that Moore sued several other organizations last year for “damages and defamation and for false political advertisements.”
Moore will face a crowded GOP field in a March 3 primary, which includes former Attorney General and Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, who announced his run late last year.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.