Yiannopoulos denies ‘defending paedophilia’ as shocking tapes emerge
Far-right figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos is under fire after clips emerged of him allegedly defending men who have sex with underage boys.
Yiannopoulos has built a large following as a Donald Trump supporter, and is set to speak alongside senior Republicans at the upcoming CPAC conference – which will be attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Trump advisor Steve Bannon, White House chief Reince Priebus and Senator Ted Cruz, among others.
The far-right figure and internet troll is already deeply controversial, previously claiming he would ‘cure’ himself of being gay if he could, describing trans people as “mentally ill gay men dressing up for attention”, and using a university lecture to single out and bully a transgender student on-stage.
Top conservatives are now facing questions about their ties to Yiannopoulos, however, after clips surfaced in which he appeared to defend men who have sex with underage boys.
In one video reported by Uproxx, taken from an old livestream with the internet figure, Yiannopoulos attacks the age of consent as an “arbitrary one-size-fits-all policing of culture”.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) February 20, 2017
He adds: “In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents.”
He is also heard bragging about his sexual activity under the age of consent, defending a priest who he had sex with.
When others present protest that his comments “sound like child molestation”, Yiannopoulos insisted: “I’m grateful for Father Michael, I wouldn’t give such good head if it wasn’t for him.”
Pushed on whether he was defending child molestation, he said: “You’re misunderstanding what paedophilia means. Paedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature, paedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty, who don’t have functioning sex organs yet, who are too young to be able to understand the way their bodies work. That is not what we’re talking about.”
The comments have reverberated around the political sphere, with CNN’s Jake Tapper taking to Twitter to question the plans for Yiannopoulos to speak at CPAC in light of the revelations..
He wrote: “This guy is speaking at CPAC??????
“Friend of mine, conservative, could not be more distraught by this Milo tape. Was molested as a child. Horrified.
“How on earth can CPAC defend this? Preying on children is the definition of evil. Justifying it in any way is sick and disturbing.”
Yiannopoulos responded in a Facebook post titled ‘A note for idiots’, having been previously banned from Twitter for allegedly encouraging racist abuse.
Referring to the unedited five-minute tape of his comments, he said: “There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject.
“If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children.”
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He added: “The videos do not show what people say they show. I did joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative. It’s no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.
“I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.”
Despite branding the age of consent an “arbitrary one-size-fits-all policing of culture” in the interview, he pointed to separate comments in the same clip describing current laws as “about right”.