Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos has sparked outrage once again after allegedly defending paedophile abuse on a radio show.
The alt-right provocateur was banned from Twitter in July 2016 after instigating abuse at Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones. While appearing as a guest on the podcast The Drunken Peasants, he said sex between "younger boys" and older men could be viewed as "a coming of age relationship" and that people "can get quite hung up on this child abuse thing".
"We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults," he told the radio show hosts.
"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 said.
Yiannopoulos said a priest sexually abused him when he was a teenager. When one of the hosts pointed out that "this sounds like child molestation," he defended the priest's actions.
"I'm grateful for Father Michael," he insisted. "I wouldn't give nearly such good head if it wasn't for him."
"There are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger," he added.
CNN lead anchor Jake Tapper criticised Yiannopolous' remarks on Twitter. He wrote that he initially planned on ignoring the comments as he did not wish to provide the alt-right advocate with a platform, but was asked by a friend, a survivor of sex trafficking, to speak out.
Tapper wrote: "Preying on children is the definition of evil. Justifying it in any way is sick and disturbing."
Yiannopoulos clarified his position in a 'note for idiots' shared on his Facebook page: "I do not support paedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children," he wrote.
He slammed the clips as an attempt by the conservative Republicans to discredit him and reveal him as being "soft on the subject."
Yiannopoulos has been invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington next week. He will be sharing the stage with high-profile figures including Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Ted Cruz. Many people have called on the CPAC committee to condemn Yiannopoulos' comments and withdraw his invitation to speak at the conference.
CPAC chair Matt Schlapp wrote on Twitter: "We think free speech includes hearing Milo's important perspective."
An epidemic of speech suppression has taken over college campuses," Schlapp told The Hollywood Reporter after Yiannopoulos was announced as a keynote speaker. "Milo has exposed their liberal thuggery and we think free speech includes hearing Milo's important perspective."
Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of conservative magazine National Review, described the decision to invite Yiannopoulos as keynote speaker as "sad and disappointing."