- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fox News host Sean Hannity fired a shot across the bow Tuesday evening at Roy Moore, giving the Republican U.S. Senate candidate one day to clean up charges of sexual misconduct — or else.

In the closing segment of Tuesday evening’s “Hannity” show, the host played clips from his afternoon radio show in which he asked the Alabama Republican numerous times whether he had, as a man in his 30s, engaged in sexual misconduct against teenagers.

Mr. Moore gave several non-definitive denials, including that he dated no girl without her mother’s permission and that dating teens wasn’t his usual practice. Those vaguenesses caused Mr. Hannity to lower the boom Tuesday evening.

“For me, the judge has 24 hours. You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies. … You must remove any doubt,” he said.

“If you can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race,” Mr. Hannity concluded.

Making the warning unusual is that Mr. Hannity is perhaps the most loyal and vigorous supporter of President Trump and his “drain the swamp” crusade against the GOP establishment — all key pillars of Mr. Moore’s campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan have both called for Mr. Moore to leave the race also, but their status as pillars of the GOP establishment make their calls vulnerable to Mr. Moore’s claim that he is running as a Trumpian outsider and that “Washington” is out to get him.

Those claims would be tougher to sustain against Mr. Hannity, whom many liberals and other Trump opponents have attacked or dismissed as a mere mouthpiece for the administration.

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