The wife of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore has defended her husband against accusations of anti-semitism, partly on the grounds that one of the couple’s lawyers is Jewish.
Mr Moore, a former Alabama state judge, is standing against Democratic nominee Doug Jones in what pollsters say is a neck-and-neck race, despite the state’s strong conservative leanings.
The vote has taken on national importance because a Democrat victory would reduce an already slim Republican majority in the chamber to only two seats.
Introducing her husband at a rally on the eve of the 12 December vote, Kayla Moore said: “Fake news would tell you we don’t care for Jews.
“I tell you all this because I’ve seen it, so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here: One of our attorneys is a Jew.
“We have very close friends that are Jewish and are rabbis.”
Ms Moore also defended her husband against allegations that he holds racist views towards black people, saying: “Fake news would also have you think that my husband doesn’t support the black community,” she said.
“Yet my husband appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama Supreme Court. We have many friends that are black and we also fellowship with them in church and in our home.”
When the comments were broadcast on CNN, Don Lemon, an anchor for the channel said: “Wow”, laughed and lowered his head.
Mr Moore came under fire when he seemed to express nostalgia for America during slavery at a September rally.