“The allegations are completely false. I believe they’re politically motivated.”
Embattled Alabama Republican Senate Candidate joined Sean Hannity’s radio show Friday to defend himself against allegations that he had improper relationships with girls as young as 14 when he was in his thirties.
Four women now have come forward alleging Moore came on to them while they were still teenagers. On Hannity’s show, Moore admitted to knowing two of his accusers, saying he remembers being friends with one, but does not remember if they dated.
Moore maintains the allegations were concocted to bring down his Senate campaign. Before the allegations broke, Moore led his Democratic opponent by 9 percentage points.
Some are demanding Moore step aside based on the allegations:
Following the Hannity interview, there is very little reason to doubt the veracity of the Washington Post story. Republicans should adjust their statements accordingly.
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) November 10, 2017
To any sane person who’s worked in journalism, the idea that the Washington Post would conspire to fabricate a story like this is plainly ridiculous. But an unsettling number of Americans now seem to find it plausible.
— Julian Sanchez (@normative) November 10, 2017
Which strikes you as more plausible: that Roy Moore did what those women claim, or that all four, not knowing each other, all spontaneously made up similar stories when the Post knocked on their door? https://t.co/K8KvNdzjYX pic.twitter.com/LBHaiCJ1tC
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) November 10, 2017
He’s rapidly losing endorsements, with Sen. Lee being the latest to withdraw support:
JUST IN: Sen. Mike Lee rescinds his endorsement of Roy Moore:
"Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate."
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) November 10, 2017
And others are coming to Moore’s defense:
NEWS: Bannon goes on record to defend Moore: "As Hillary would say, this is nothing less than the politics of personal destruction" https://t.co/n0j58LyVnt
— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) November 10, 2017
So what happens next? What if Moore continues fighting the allegations and refuses to step down? And what if Alabama Republicans pull him? Alabama’s Governor has broad discretion in such matters and can reschedule the election. From the NYT:
One approach that Republicans are considering, according to people briefed on the deliberations, would involve asking Gov. Kay Ivey to order a new date for the election, scheduling it for early next year and giving the party time to persuade Mr. Moore to withdraw, or force him out of the race.
Alabama election law requires candidates to withdraw at least 76 days before an election in order to be replaced on the ballot, a deadline Mr. Moore has already missed.
State law gives the governor broad authority to set the date of special elections, and Ms. Ivey, who is a Republican, already rescheduled the Senate election once, after inheriting the governor’s office in April when her predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned in a sex and corruption scandal. Ms. Ivey’s advisers have not ruled out exercising that power again, according to Republicans in touch with her camp, but she has signaled that she would like reassurances of support from the White House before taking any such step.
A spokesman for the governor did not reply to an email asking about her intentions.
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