An Alabama campaign rally for Roy Moore took an unusual turn Monday night when a speaker told about an accidental trip to a brothel in Vietnam that ended with the future Senate candidate quickly fleeing the scene.
Bill Staehle, who served in the Vietnam War with Moore, used the incident as evidence that the candidate is “morally straight and highly principled.”
Moore has come under fire over allegations of sexual misconduct from numerous women, including some who say they were teenagers at the time.
Staehle said he and Moore went to what they were told would be a “private club” to join a fellow soldier who was celebrating the end of his tour of duty.
The club, he said, turned out to be a brothel.
“There were certainly pretty girls. And they were girls, and they were young. Some were probably very young, I don’t know,” Staehle said.
Moore, he said, left immediately.
“We shouldn’t be here. I’m leaving,” he recalled Moore saying.
He and Moore left, while the other soldier remained.
“That was Roy,” he said. “Honorable. Disciplined. Morally straight and highly principled.”
Staehle introduced Moore’s wife, Kayla, who made headlines of her own Monday while defending her husband against accusations of anti-Semitism.
“I just want to set the record straight while they’re here. One of our attorneys is a Jew,” she said. “We have very close friends who are Jewish and rabbis, and we also fellowship with them.”
Staehle, a New Jersey attorney, also related the brothel story in an editorial last month posted online.
“That evening, if I didn’t know it before, I knew then that with Roy Moore I was in the company of a man of great self-control, discipline, honor, and integrity,” he wrote. “While there were other actions by Roy that reinforced my belief in him, that was the most telling.”
He also repeated the story in a video interview with New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press, in which he said Moore “had the conviction to take a stand right away.”
Moore served as a commander of a military police battalion in Vietnam. He was so strict he feared being killed by his own troops, The Atlantic reported:
For those who asked, here's the Atlantic on Roy Moore's fear during the Vietnam war that he'd be fragged. pic.twitter.com/sFkqWQuddT— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) December 10, 2017
(h/t Think Progress)
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.