On tonight's Rachel Maddow Show, Michael Moore explained why he posted bail for—and controversially defended—WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, drawing the ire of many victims' rights advocates. "WikiLeaks is more than just this one man," said Moore. Videos inside.

Moore made two separate statements to Maddow about the controversy, one during each of the interview's two segments. Both times, Moore attempted to reiterate that he believes Assange should have to answer to the charges—and also tried to quell any sort of belief that his defense of Assange makes him a rape apologist—but believed that there was a larger issue (the importance of WikiLeaks) at hand.

Here's what Maddow said to Moore to begin the discussion:

The timing could not be more suspicious. The man accused says he's being pursued for political reasons. But even if you're suspicious about the timing, there are two women who went to the police with what are essentially date-rape charges against this guy.

This doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.

Can your suspicion about the forces arrayed against Julian Assange and Wikileaks — your suspicion about the timing and pursuit of these charges — coexist with respect for the women making these accusations against him and with a commitment to take rape allegations seriously, even when the person accused is someone that for other reasons you like?

Here's Moore's first statement on the issue:

And here's his second one:

Update: Maddow's blog has posted full video of both segments. Here's the first:

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And the second:

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[The Rachel Maddow Show]