In their bombshell interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly last night, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar made some surprising statements to say the least.
Perhaps most controversially, the reality stars insinuated that police actually took bribes to leak Josh Duggar's molestation file and sabotage their family.
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar acknowledged the horrible actions of their first of their 19 children, Josh Duggar, who molested his sisters as a teenager.
However, they also sought to downplay his behavior to an extent, insisting that he “improperly touched” Jessa and Jill Duggar for “just a few seconds.”
Now married adults, Jessa and Jill Duggar were among the five molestation victims - four sisters and one babysitter - assaulted by Josh a decade ago.
Awful and inexcusable as Michelle and Jim Bob admit this is, they insist that all of the girls either don't remember it or didn't understand it at the time.
In turn, the backlash against them, or so they claim, has actually made this a whole lot worse for them than any pain Josh may have inflicted back then.
Jim Bob defended his handling of the situation, and sought to turn the tables on the “public shame” instigated by someone with a “personal agenda.”
“There’s an agenda,” Michelle told Megyn. “There’s people that are purposely trying to bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander.”
Taking that defense a step further, Jim Bob said the “attack” on the 19 Kids And Counting stars was led by Springdale, Ark., Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley.
O'Kelley, he said, set out to “hurt” his family for a “bribe.”
“She was getting ready to retire and said, ‘There’s a few things I want to do before I retire,'” he said, strongly implying she leaked the molestation file.
“I think I was on her list.”
The parents promise “justice will be served” because their girls “were victimized in these last couple of weeks more than they were 12 years ago.”
Clearly, Michelle and Jim Bob came in with a strategy to cop to their actions (or inaction), but also to re-frame the Josh Duggar molestation scandal.
Or as they might put it, the "improper touching" scandal.
The Duggar patriarch maintains that the family “did the best that we could under the circumstances” and that Josh has long been a “changed person.”
Moreover, they're looking to shift the narrative to the fact that this file was illegally leaked a decade after the fact after all parties had moved on.
Is it a fair argument? Will it work? Can it salvage their reputation and keep TLC from pulling the plug on 19 Kids and Counting?
There's a whole lot to discuss in the comments below ...