National Republican Senatorial Committee ends joint fundraising agreement with Roy Moore campaign

National Republican Senatorial Committee ends joint fundraising agreement with Roy Moore campaign

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama is facing lurid allegations of sexual misconduct with minors decades ago - and an immediate backlash from party leaders demanding he get out of the race if the accusations prove true.

The women cited in The Washington Post article said Moore had pursued them in the 1970s and 1980s when he was a lawyer in his early 30s.

His campaign denied the report as "the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation".

The NRSC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Paul Reynolds, Alabama's Republican National Committeeman, called it "a firestorm created to shipwreck a campaign in Alabama".

Traveling in Asia with President Donald Trump Friday, White House press officer Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president doesn't believe "a mere allegation" should destroy a person's life - but added that Trump "believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside".

It remains to be see whether Thursday's allegations can buoy Jones' long-shot bid, which would represent a major upset for Democrats and narrow Republicans' current edge in the Senate. And if you're down to arguing about the age of consent in an allegation involving a 32-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl, you've already lost that argument.

Defiant as ever, Moore himself issued a fundraising appeal asking for emergency donations in a "spiritual battle".

And Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler seized headlines when he said there is "just nothing immoral or illegal" about the described encounter, comparing the assault to biblical marriages.

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Moore has denied the allegations and given no indication that he will exit the race. Luther Strange in Alabama's Republican primary earlier this year. Mr. Odd lost to Moore in the Republican primary runoff.

"If you're gonna step aside when you get a allegation you might as well not run because when you run you're gonna get an allegation", Moore declared.

"I don't know if it matters whether it's today, tomorrow, or the next day, but he should do it within the next 48 hours, one way or the other", King said.

The biggest Senate GOP super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, excoriated Moore Thursday, but it had already spent millions attacking the far-right former Supreme Court Justice to prop up unusual in the GOP primary.

According to the Senate.gov seating chart, Moore, should he win, will inhabit seat 90 of the Senate chamber. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. If that happens, McConnell and other Republicans would face the challenge of figuring out which candidate would run in Moore's place - and how to win an election in which it is too late to replace the former judge's name on the December 12 ballot.

The Washington Post story had more than 30 sources. His Democratic opponent is Doug Jones.

The Washington Post first reported, and CBS News has since confirmed, that four women accused Moore of pursuing them when they were teens.

In the face of that stand-and-fight mentality by Moore, Republicans in Washington are left with a handful of bad - and likely ineffective - options.

As NPR reported last night, Moore, who was removed as Alabama's chief justice twice for his refusal to comply with federal court decisions, shows no signs of being inclined to leave the race.

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