The Washington Post published a thoroughly reported story this afternoon in which a woman says that Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama’s special election, initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14 years old. Three other women told the Post that Moore sought relationships with them when they were under 18.
Several prominent Republicans have since responded, calling on Moore to drop out of the race if the story is true. Mitch McConnell said, “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.” That sentiment was echoed by Republican senators Richard Shelby, Pat Toomey, and Rob Portman, as well as by Cory Gardner, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Senator John Cornyn called the allegations “deeply disturbing,” but said “the next steps are up to the governor and the people of Alabama.”
For his part, Moore called the story “garbage” that was “the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation” in a written statement. The election between Moore, the favorite in the race, and Democratic opponent Doug Jones is set for December 12.
Update 2:52 p.m.: Here is John McCain’s statement:
The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 9, 2017