Mike Huckabee continued to defend the Duggar family on Fox News Monday.
In an interview with Megyn Kelly on the heels of her high-profile interview with the Duggars last week, Huckabee reiterated his previous statements defending the family’s handling of the situation and criticizing the media for exploiting the victims.
“They took many, many steps that many parents don’t take under similar circumstances,” he said of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who have been criticized for not doing more to protect their daughters from abuse.
Huckabee also recalled Jill and Jessa Duggar’s statements that they felt more victimized by the media than by their brother.
“There was no interest in the media to protect those girl,” he said. “How were the victims served by the exploitation … the illegal, unlawful release of that information?”
While speaking to Kelly, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar claimed the case file regarding Josh’s molestation was sealed and must have been illegally leaked to serve someone’s “agenda.” It has been discovered, however, that the file was never sealed, since Josh was 18 by the time the report was filed in 2006. When Springdale, Arkansas City Attorney Ernest Cate received a Freedom of Information Act request, he was required to release it with the underage victims’ names redacted.
Though the Duggars’ endorsement was removed from Huckabee’s presidential campaign website, when news of the molestation scandal first broke, the candidate posted a statement on his Facebook page in their defense.
“No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility,” he wrote.