- Republican lawmakers are beginning to disavow Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican running for Senate, following allegations of sexual misconduct with a teenage girl.
- The allegations against Moore were made public in a Thursday Washington Post report in which four women allege that Moore sought relationships with them when he was in his early 30s and the women were teenagers.
Republican lawmakers are disavowing Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican running for Senate, following allegations in a Washington Post report that he pursued a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl and sought relationships with three other teenage girls.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and National Republican Senate Committee chairman Cory Gardner both released statements on Thursday afternoon calling on Moore to drop out of the special Senate election if the allegations are true.
“It’s devastating,” Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, told a reporter on Thursday shortly after the story broke. “I think if those allegations are true, he should step aside. I mean, I’m sorry but this is untenable – if they’re true. I have no facts, I just saw the story. But it’s very serious.”
A fellow Alabama Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby, said that if the allegations made by the women are true, Moore “wouldn’t belong in the Senate.”
Others made similar statements.
“I’m horrified and if it’s true he should step down immediately,” Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said on Thursday.
Murkowski also said that she had already spoken with Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, who lost the GOP primary to Moore last month, about running a write-in campaign to replace Moore and challenge his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.
Republican Sen. John McCain called for Moore to leave the race immediately.
“The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying,” he said in a statement. “He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”
Multiple women have accused Moore of pursuing relationships with them while he was older and they were teenagers
A woman said that when she was 14 years old, Moore, who was then 32, initiated a sexual encounter with her.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Moore invited Leigh Corfman to his home when she was a teenager, took off her clothes, and encouraged her to touch him.
Corfman said she first met Moore outside an Alabama courtroom in 1979. She was reportedly sitting with her mother when Moore struck up a conversation and offered to sit with her while her mother attended a hearing.
Moore then got her phone number and called her days later, Corfman said. On two separate occasions, Moore reportedly picked up Corfman around the corner from her house and drove her to his house in the woods. On the second occasion, Corfman said, Moore removed her clothes and touched her.
Corfman said that on one of the visits, Moore also gave her alcohol.
“I wanted it over with – I wanted out,” she said she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.”
The legal age of consent in Alabama is 16, as it was when this incident allegedly occurred.
Additionally, three women interviewed by The Post said Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18, though he did not engage in sexual conduct with any of them.
Moore denied the allegations, saying the charges were a “desperate political attack by the national Democrat Party and The Washington Post.” In a subsequent statement, Moore’s campaign called the allegations “fake news.”
Max Tani and Joe Perticone contributed to this report.