The Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) invitation of Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos as a featured speaker has drawn outrage after a clip was released Sunday purporting to show the right-wing provocateur defending pedophilia.
But Milo is pushing back against the allegations. He released a statement Sunday night claiming he himself was a victim of sex abuse as a minor.
“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,” he wrote in his statement posted on Facebook.
He declared that he is absolutely repulsed by child molesters and dismissed the outrage as a coordinated effort by anti-Trump conservatives to him removed from CPAC.
“I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst,” Yiannopoulos stated. “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.”
The Breitbart writer also penned a lengthy attack on pedophiles and their alleged progressive defenders in 2015.
“National Review, whose journalists are tweeting about this, published an article defending Salon for giving a pedophile a platform,” he said.
Yiannopoulos clarified that he meant young men and not actual “boys” when speaking in the clip.
“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,” Milo said. “I shouldn’t have used the word ‘boy’ when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men.”
In another Facebook post, Milo pointed out that the clip in question also shows him affirming the legal age of consent.
So far, the American Conservative Union is standing by its decision to have Milo as one of CPAC’s featured speakers in spite of the outcry. Before the clip was released Sunday, there was already outrage over CPAC’s decision because of Milo’s politics and alleged associations with the alt-right.
Yiannopoulos’s statement concluded with a shot at his conservative critics. “This rush to judgment from establishment conservatives who hate Trump as much as they hate me, before I have had any chance to provide context or a response, is one of the big reasons gays vote Democrat.”