President Donald J. Trump says he is confident the Alabama Republican Senate candidate, Roy Moore, “will do the right thing and step aside” if the sexual misconduct allegations against him are, in fact, true.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders cautioned against a rush to judgment on Thursday. While traveling on Air Force One, she told reporters, “Like most Americans, the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case, one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life,” Sanders said. “However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”
Moore, who is never shy about speaking his mind, took to Twitter with comments about the Washington Post story which launched the bombshell accusations against him. In a series of tweets Thursday evening, Moore wrote: “The Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I’ve EVER faced! We are in the midst of a spiritual battle with those who want to silence our message. The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal –– even inflict physical harm –– if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me. Amid calls for him to drop out of the race, Moore added, “Our nation is at a crossroads right now — both spiritually and politically. Our children and grandchildren’s futures are on the line. So rest assured — I will NEVER GIVE UP the fight!” I believe you and I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values! Our nation is at a crossroads right now — both spiritually and politically. So rest assured — I will NEVER GIVE UP the fight! “
The Washington Post story focused on a woman named Leigh Corfman, now 53. Her allegations stem back to 1979.
Corfman told the Post that Moore, then an assistant district attorney, first approached her in 1979 outside an Alabama courtroom where she was sitting with her mother. On another occasion, she said Moore, then 32, took her to his home in the woods and kissed her.
The Post also reports on another visit in which Corfman reportedly claimed Moore took off her shirt and pants; touched her over her bra and underwear, and guided her hand to his underwear. She said the two did not have sexual intercourse, and that she ended up getting dressed and asking Moore to take her home.
“I wanted it over with – I wanted out,” she told the Post. She admitted that Moore did take her home.
The report caused immediate problems for Moore with his own Party as he heads into the Dec. 12 election against Democrat Doug Jones. Several GOP senators called on him to step aside if the allegations are true – and at least one senator, Arizona’s John McCain, said he should drop out regardless.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement: “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”
Senator Cory Gardner, R-Colo., head of the Senate GOP campaign arm, called the allegations “deeply troubling” and said: “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.”
Jones’ campaign told multiple news outlets: “Roy Moore needs to answer these serious charges.”
Moore’s campaign issued a statement saying the report is “baseless” and false.
The Post noted that the legal age of consent in the state is 16, and sexual contact by anyone 19 or older with anyone between 12 and 16 years old is considered second-degree sexual abuse.