WASHINGTON, U.S. - Following the revelations made in an explosive report in the Washington Post that accused Roy Moore, the U.S. Senate seat GOP nominee in Alabama of engaging in sexual conduct with underage women, Alabama Republicans defended Moore.
On Thursday, the report alleged that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
The post quoted three other women as saying that Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.
Moore, initially told The Post, "These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign."
On Friday, he called the story “lies” and a “filthy and sleazy” attack.
Moore's brother on Friday compared the sexual conduct allegations against his brother to the persecution of Jesus Christ.
Jerry Moore reportedly suggested the women who have made accusations against his brother are being paid by the Democratic Party to come forward.
Jerry Moore reportedly said "that his brother is being persecuted, in his own words, like Jesus Christ was," and he was “very defiant and very outspoken, relying on his faith and defending his brother to the hilt."
Roy Moore said on Twitter, “The Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I’ve EVER faced!”
Moore clarified that he would remain in the race for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacant seat, despite more than a dozen GOP lawmakers saying he should step down if the allegations are true.
On Friday, the White House said that President Donald Trump hopes Moore “will do the right thing and step aside” if the allegations are true.
On Friday, Republican Secretary of State John Merrill said, “It’s odd to me that this information has just been introduced. In all the campaigns Judge Moore has ever run before ― and he has run a lot of them, probably a dozen campaigns. It’s very, very odd to me this information has just been introduced.”
Merrill said the women might be lying, adding, “People make things up all the time. Do I think it’s possible they made this up? I do.”
Madison County GOP Chairman Sam Givhan said “I’m obviously suspicious. After all, some of these allegations are 40 years old. The man’s been elected twice. Run two other times. Never came up before. Pretty amazing, the timing of this.”
Even Alabama State Rep. Ed Henry said, “If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. I think someone should prosecute and go after them. You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion.”
And Covington County GOP Chairman William Blocker said that he thinks Democrats convinced Moore’s accusers to lie in order to damage him.
Blocker said, “If they said she was a Hillary supporter, then she’d be more dismissed by the local voters here in the state of Alabama. You’d have to paint her as a Trump supporter to be of any credibility. There is no option to support to support Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee. When you do that, you are supporting the entire Democrat party.”
Alabama Mobile County GOP chairman John Skipper said, “I think it is a typical Democratic – Democrat – ploy to discredit Judge Moore, a sincere, honest, trustworthy individual.”
Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler said, “Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Moore’s campaign chair Bill Armistead earlier issued a statement lashing out at the Post report too and said, "Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena, but this story in today's Washington Post alleging sexual impropriety takes the cake. National liberal organizations know their chosen candidate Doug Jones is in a death spiral, and this is their last ditch Hail Mary.”
After the report appeared, GOP lawmakers asked Moore to step aside if the sexual allegations made against him are true.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement, “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain of Arizona said in a statement, "The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of."
Further, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said, "I find it deeply disturbing and troubling. It's up to the governor and the folks of Alabama to make that decision."
And Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins took to Twitter and said, "If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate."
National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Cory Gardner said, "If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election."
According to the Alabama Secretary of State's office, Moore or the Alabama Republican Party can withdraw his nomination for the Senate seat - however, that there's no process to replace him outside of a write-in candidate.
The office said in a statement, “We do not have the process of how the state party would decide that yet. Should the party decide to do withdraw his nomination, the state chairman will notify the Secretary of State.”
According to reports, if Moore's name is withdrawn, there is no process to replace a candidate with another candidate's name.
This, experts noted would mean that if the Alabama Republican Party wanted to try to get another Republican elected, it would have to be a write-in on the ballot.
If his nomination is withdrawn, the state canvassing board would not certify votes for him.
The special election, scheduled to be held on December 12, is to fill the seat that was vacated by Jeff Sessions when he took the Attorney General position in Trump's cabinet.
Accusations against Moore
Moore has been accused of approaching Leigh Corfman while she was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother.
He is said to have offered to watch Corfman while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.
The Post said in the report that he was an assistant district attorney at the time.
Corfman's mother, Nancy Wells, said in the report, "He said, 'Oh, you don't want her to go in there and hear all that. I'll stay out here with her.’ I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl."
Moore is said to have then asked Corfman for her number and called her a few days later.
He then picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden and drove her 30 minutes away to the woods, called her pretty and kissed her.
The Post also reported that during a second visit, Moore took off her shirt and pants and he removed his clothes.
She told the Post he touched her over her bra and underpants, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
She reported added, “I wanted it over with - I wanted out. Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over."
Corfman said she asked Moore to take her home, which he did.