Milo Yiannopoulos has attempted to defend himself after videos emerged ahead of his scheduled speaking engagement at the Conservative Political Action Conference showing him discussing sexual relationships between young boys and adults.
In an episode of ‘The Drunken Peasants’ podcast from 2016 the Brietbart editor recalled his own sexual abuse as a teenager at the hands of a priest and school teacher, but refused to name or condemn the mens’ behaviour, instead saying the encounters had made him good at oral sex.
In another video, Yiannopoulos decried the “arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent” and said some people are “capable of giving consent at a younger age”, adding that relationships between “younger boys” and older men “help younger men discover who they are and give them a sense of security and safety”.
The comments, which emerged just two days after he accused transgender women of wanting to molest children during a “Real Time With Bill Maher” appearance, were seized upon with disgust by CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
Tapper, writing on Twitter, said he felt compelled to speak out after being contacted by a friend who “could not be more distraught” about Yiannopoulos’ remarks, having himself, been molested as a child.
Tapper said his friend had told him: “Milo straight up defended abusing 13-yr-old boys... Please don’t let that be normalized.”
In a further post he wrote: “More from survivor of sex trafficking: ‘Please please please don’t let that mess he said go away.’ How on earth can CPAC defend this?”
In the videos, which were first published in January but have reappeared ahead of Yiannopoulos’ CPAC speech in Washington this week, the far-right provocateur said people get “hung up on this abuse stuff” and that young boys “discover who they are” through such relationships.
In another video the journalist said if it hadn’t been for “Father Michael, I would have given far less good head”, and said despite his younger years he did not consider the incident, abusive, because “he didn’t make me, I was quite enthusiastic”. Yiannopoulos then added that he had also had a sexual relationship with his English teacher.
“He was (the priest) fantastic. I was a very mature 14-year-old. It wasn’t molestation, it was perfectly consensual. I was the predator. I was the instigator. I was aggressively seeking out the sexual company of adults because I knew it would horrify people, because I wanted power over them. It was my way of rebelling.”
Yiannopoulos’ comments are not new, having been readily available on YouTube since the podcast shared the nearly three-hour-long interview on January 4.
The clips, which come after UC Berkeley canceled a speech by Yiannopoulos a few weeks ago amid riots, were brought to light again by a conservative blog known as the Reagan Battalion in an apparent attempt to oppose Yiannopoulos’ appearance at CPAC, which begins Wednesday, the New York Post suggested.
In a Facebook post, Yiannopoulos has since tried to explain his comments, “for idiots”: “I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst,” he wrote.
Yiannopoulos claimed to have personally outed paedophiles, and said he is “disgusted by the abuse of children”. However, he did not explicitly deny defending relationships between adults and 13-year-olds, as mentioned in the video.
But he attempted to clarify his position on such relationships: “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.”
He added: “I shouldn’t have used the word ‘boy’ when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.) That was a mistake. Gay men often use the word ‘boy’ when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.”
Yiannopoulos also claimed the videos were taken out of context, but acknowledged: “I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen.”
He added: “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.”
Yiannopoulos will be given a prominent speaking slot at the influential confab, and is set to upstage stodgier conservative speakers like Vice President Mike Pence and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, The Hollywood Reporter noted. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and top President Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, a former Breitbart executive, are also speaking.