Senate Republicans react to sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore during speaks during his election party, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. Moore won the Alabama Republican primary runoff for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, defeating an appointed incumbent, Sen. Luther Strange, backed by President Donald Trump and allies of Sen. Mitch McConnell. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

In the hours after a Washington Post report detailed numerous allegations of sexual misconduct by Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, lawmakers in the body he seeks to join spoke out against the Republican.

Should the accusations prove true, Moore should immediately back out of the race, some GOP senators said.

The report illustrates allegations from multiple women -- most notably Leigh Corfman, an Alabama native -- who say Moore pursued them as young teenagers. At the time, he himself was in his thirties, according to the report.

Moore, now 70, has denied all wrongdoing; even going so far as to belittle the article, calling it "the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation."

His fellow Republicans in the Senate have failed to take the accusations so lightly.

"The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling," said Colorado Sen. Chairman Cory Gardner, who leads the Senate GOP campaign arm. "If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seconded Gardner, reinforcing: "If these allegations are true, he must step aside."

Arizona Sen. John McCain also called for him to back out, describing the behavior detailed in the the report as "disturbing."

"The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying," McCain said. "He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of."

The sentiment was echoed by Maine's Sen. Susan Collins.

"If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate," Collins said.

In a near-identical statement, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona wrote: "If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately."

"I'm horrified," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Maine. "If it's true he should step down immediately."

Texas Sen. John Cornyn said: "If it is true I don't think his candidacy is sustainable."

Parties and candidates running for office in Alabama cannot edit nominations within 76 days of the election. As a result, Moore's name will be on the ballot on election day next month regardless.

However, a spokesman said the Alabamaba Republican Party can nullify his nomination, NPR reported. Thus, Moore would not be declared the winner regardless of how many votes he received.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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