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Top Republicans respond to Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations
11 November 2017, 01:37 | Damon Campbell
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore poses in front the the American flag in Montgomery Ala
A month before Alabama's special election, RepublicanSenate candidate Roy Moore abruptly faced lurid allegations Thursday of sexual misconduct with minors decades ago - and an immediate backlash from party leaders who demanded he get out of the race if the accusations prove true.
"These allegations are completely false and misleading", Moore told Sean Hannity on Hannity's syndicated radio show, "The Sean Hannity Show", on Friday afternoon.
"If it's true, the Republican Party doesn't have any place for pedophiles and he should step down immediately", said Josh Holmes, a McConnell confidant and his former chief of staff. "Steve Bannon is responsible", he added about the McConnell foil and former White House chief strategist, for enabling candidates such as Moore who are out of the GOP mainstream. "They are two of the biggest goobers we have in Washington D.C.", Henry said.
Zeigler said that even if the allegations against Moore are true, it's "much ado about nothing".
Lee's office told The Hill on Friday that the Moore campaign never asked to use the senator's image and that their office had requested that Moore take it down.
If Moore wins the Alabama special election scheduled for December 12, he'd serve alongside GOP colleagues who have mostly hedged their words about whether he should even run anymore.
Overall, however, Washington Republicans have very little leverage over Moore.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters traveling with the president in Asia that "the president believes we can not allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person's life", but added that "the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside".
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The other women say Moore pursued them at the ages of 16, 17 and 18. John McCain said the allegations are bad enough, and Moore should step down anyway.
"I dont know Ms. Corfman from anybody, I've never talked to her, never met with her..."
A one-vote Jones margin, of course, gives him a Senate seat, so one way of looking at this is that an already-vulnerable GOP candidate may have been dealt a deadly blow even if a big majority of Republican voters don't believe the Washington Post allegations or don't care if they are true. Luther Strange, R-Alabama, pitting him against Trump, who threw his own support behind Strange.
"The Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped that dime on Donald Trump, is the same Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped the dime [now] on Judge Roy Moore", Bannon said.
It's the distance that would matter to the state Republican party, and more so for the national party. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who now serves as US attorney general. State auditor Jim Ziegler says "Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter", suggesting that Roy Moore acted in a divine tradition if he in fact made sexual advances toward a 14-year-old girl.
State Rep. Ed Henry told The Times of Cullman, Alabama, that if Moore's accusers believe Moore was a predator, "they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years".
John Skipper, former chair of the Mobile County Republican Party in Alabama, echoed Moore's sentiment.
In Washington at least, few Republicans came to Moore's defense in the hours after the report was published. In 2005, he said "homosexual conduct should be illegal". "They're blessed with a wonderful marriage and his wife Kayla is 14 years younger than Moore", he said.
West Ham appoint David Moyes as new manager
The former Manchester United boss will take charge until the end of the season after replacing Slaven Bilic at the London Stadium. Moyes - relegated with Sunderland last season - has been tasked with keeping West Ham in the Premier League .