WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in Louisville, Ky., that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore should exit the race following a Washington Post report that Moore pursued sexual relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s.
Moore has refused to step aside, and has staked much of his far-right candidacy as a campaign against the Washington establishment, including McConnell.
“I believe the women,” McConnell said, according to Politico. He said Moore should “step aside,” after previously saying Moore should drop out of the race if the allegations proved to be true.
Moore is facing Democrat Doug Moore in a special election in Alabama on Dec. 12. The winner will fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general. Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) was appointed to fill the seat, but he lost in a primary to Moore.
The Washington Post reported the women’s on-the-record stories on Thursday, including that of Leigh Corfman, who said she was 14 when Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her. In the wake of the report, a handful of senators who endorsed Moore have pulled their support.
“These allegations are completely false and misleading,” Moore told Sean Hannity on his radio show on Friday, adding that they were “politically motivated.” He has also threatened to sue the Post.
Attorney Gloria Allred has planned a press conference for Monday in New York with another accuser who will allege that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a minor.