Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, on Friday rejected the claims made by women who told the Washington Post that he pursued them sexually when they were teens and he was in his 30s.
The Post report, published the day before, upended the previously under-the-radar special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former seat. Moore initially dismissed the entire report as “fake news” but had not previously addressed the specific allegations.
On Friday, Moore denied even knowing Leigh Corfman, the woman who made the most explosive claim. She told the Post that when she was 14 and Moore was 32, he undressed her and himself, touched her over her undergarments and guided her hand to touch him. The age of consent in Alabama was then and continues to be 16.
“I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody,” Moore said in a radio interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Moore, now 70, similarly denied knowing a woman who said he asked her on dates when she was 16. Moore said he did recall two women who said they dated him when they were 17 and 18 years old, but he otherwise disputed their accounts of their encounters with him. One woman said they met when he spoke to her high school civics class, which Moore said he didn’t recall. Another claimed he provided her with alcohol when she was underage, which he unequivocally denied.
Asked how he knew the women if he did not date them, Moore said he may have known their parents. He noted that one woman said her mother encouraged her to date him.
When Hannity asked Moore if it would have been normal for him to date teenagers when he was in his 30s, Moore waffled, answering that he dated “a lot of young ladies.” When Hannity asked Moore the same question later in the interview, Moore answered more firmly that it did not align with his “customary behavior.”
Moore claimed that his campaign was conducting an investigation that would prove his innocence.
Meanwhile, a growing number of Republicans, including Mitt Romney and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are calling for him to withdraw his candidacy. Others have simply said the outspoken former judge should drop out of the race “if” the allegations are true.
The special election is on Dec. 12.
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