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'I believe the women': Top US Republican Mitch McConnell says Roy Moore should drop out of race

Moore has been accused of pursuing romantic relationships with teenage girls.

Roy Moore speaks during a candidates' forum in Valley, Alabama.
Roy Moore speaks during a candidates' forum in Valley, Alabama.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE TOP REPUBLICAN in the US Senate said this evening that GOP candidate Roy Moore should quit his Alabama race amid allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued romantic relationships with other teenage girls decades ago

“I believe the women,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican said flatly that Moore should step aside for another GOP candidate days after the Washington Post report that rocked the campaign for what the Republican party had considered an inevitable special election win on 12 December.

When the story first broke last Thursday, McConnell had said Moore should step aside if the allegations were true.

McConnell, questioned at a tax event in Louisville, said a write-in effort by another candidate was a possibility.

“That’s an option we’re looking at … whether or not there is someone who can mount a write-in campaign successfully,” McConnell said. Asked specifically about current Senator Luther Strange, the loser to Moore in a party primary, he said, “We’ll see.”

On the Democratic side, one of the Senate’s moderate members is helping Moore’s challenger raise campaign funds, underscoring the party’s wary approach in an Alabama race that until recently was viewed as a virtually certain win for the GOP.

In fact, the fundraising bid by Sen Joe Donnelly, doesn’t mention allegations about Moore.

“Doug’s opponent, Roy Moore, is an extremist with a record of putting political ideology above the rule of law,” Donnelly wrote in a weekend email soliciting contributions for Democrat Doug Jones.

Moore and Jones face a 12 December special election to replace Strange, who was appointed to replace Jeff Sessions when Sessions was named US attorney general.

Donnelly’s email also cites Jones’ background as “the son of a steelworker” and a prosecutor who “worked to lock away members of the KKK and terrorists for despicable acts of violence”.

Four women, speaking on the record, told The Washington Postthat Roy Moore of Alabama pursued them when they were 18 or younger and he was in his early thirties working as an assistant district attorney.

According to the Post, Leigh Corfman, now 53, said when she was 14 Moore took her into his house in the woods near Gadsden, Alabama, removed her shirt and pants, and fondled her over her bra and underpants.

Moore guided her to touch him over his “tight” white underwear, she said.

“I wasn’t ready for that,” Corfman told the Post.

Moore, who is 70, married for three decades, and the father of four, denied any sexual impropriety. His campaign called the Post story “fake news”.

Read: Donald Trump: Republican ‘will step aside’ if sexual encounter with girl is true >

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Associated Press

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