Roy Moore’s new spokesperson Janet Porter has been raising eyebrows over her increasingly bizarre interviews, most recently a chat with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night. Here’s five things to know:
1. She Is an Anti-Abortion Activist From Ohio
As Cincinnati.com reported on Dec. 6 (before Porter’s interview with Anderson Cooper later that evening), before becoming the new spokesperson for Roy Moore’s Senate campaign in Alabama, Janet Folger Porter was a northeast Ohio anti-abortion activist best known throughout the state for creating the controversial “heartbeat bill,” which would have banned abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The bill passed the Ohio legislature in 2016, but Gov. John Kasich vetoed it and the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life said it opposed the bill because it would almost certainly have been found unconstitutional.
Porter is also the president and founder of the anti-abortion group Faith2Action. In the 1990s, under her maiden name Janet Folger, she promoted various now-discredited “gay conversion” therapies purporting to “cure” homosexuality.
2. She Told a Pregnant Poppy Harlow That Doug Jones Wanted to Kill Her Unborn Baby
On Dec. 5, CNN’s Poppy Harlow interviewed Roy Moore’s new campaign spokeswoman.
“It’s great to be with you,” Porter said after Harlow introduced her. “And, by the way, congratulations on your unborn child. That‘s the reason why I came down, as a volunteer, to speak for Judge Roy Moore, because he’ll stand for the rights of babies like yours in the womb. Where his opponent will support killing them up until the moment of birth.”
Harlow replied “Janet, thank you for being with us, and I appreciate the congratulations on our son on the way.” However, when Porter tried bringing up Harlow’s unborn son again later in the interview, Harlow said “Let’s leave my child out of this.”
3. She Called Roy Moore’s Accusers ‘Non-Accusers’
During her Tuesday interview with Harlow, Porter said she did not believe any of the women who’d come forward to say Roy Moore molested or attacked them when they were teens and he in his early 30s. She specifically singled out Leigh Corfman, who says she was 14 (below Alabama’s age of consent) when Moore made inappropriate advances on her, while dismissing the rest of Moore’s accusers as “non-accusers.”
“Poppy, we need to make it clear that there’s a group of non- accusers that have not accused the judge of any sexual misconduct or anything illegal,” Porter said. “But when we’re talking about Leigh Corfman, even her own mother said that her report to ‘The Washington Post,’ that her life spiraled out of — out of control after this alleged incident. Well, actually, the court records say differently, that she was actually given custody of to her ex — the mother of Leigh Corfman gave willing, gave custody away to her ex-husband because of the severe behavior problems.”
Porter also claimed that George Soros is registering convicted felons to vote against men like Roy Moore, who “stood for God.”
4. Anderson Cooper Admonished Her for Refusing to Answer His Questions
The day after her interview with Harlow Porter returned to CNN, this time for an interview with Anderson Cooper. During her interview with Cooper, it became apparent that Porter knew little about the positions Moore has taken on various issues, despite her new job as Moore’s spokesperson.
When Cooper asked her if Moore still believes homosexuality should be illegal, and still considers it comparable to bestiality, Porter responded by tossing a word salad: “I don’t have that answer, but I can tell you what he does, what he does believe, regarding that issue. And regarding that issue, if you wanna talk about making sure we don’t have sexual predators–” and for awhile Cooper and Porter spoke simultaneously, as Cooper tried (and failed) to get Porter to answer his actual question.
Porter also would not answer whether Moore still believed Muslims should be banned from serving in Congress, and if he still believes that 9/11 happened because the United States had grown distant from God. She also repeatedly referred to Doug Jones, Moore’s Democratic opponent in the Alabama Senate race, as “Abortion Jones” (apparently her go-to nickname for Jones, as she also referred to him by that name during a Dec. 2 county Republican rally).
CNN put the full, uncut interview online, but shorter “best of” highlight clips can be found on Twitter.
5. She’s Promoted Several Conspiracy Theories in Her World Net Daily Column
For several years, Porter has written columns for the far-right-wing website World Net Daily. Her most recent piece is a Nov. 12 column “I stand with Judge Roy Moore.” In 2008, she published These include a a column explaining “How same-sex marriage points to [the] end of the world.”
Porter also is (or was) a proponent of the “Birther” theory stating that Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen and thus was never qualified to be president. Her February 2009 column “Communism scheduled for a vote in the Senate” suggested that in 1992, Barack Obama was a secret agent working for the Soviet Union.