On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Senate candidate and Alabama state judge Roy Moore allegedly initiated sexual contact with several teenage girls in the late 1970s and early 1980s. One claimed that she had a sexual encounter with Moore when she was 14 and he was 32.
In a statement following the report, a spokesperson for Moore said:
“The Washington Post has already endorsed the Judge’s opponent, and for months, they have engaged in a systematic campaign to distort the truth about the Judge’s record and career and derail his campaign.
“After over 40 years of public service, if any of these allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now,” the spokesperson added.
“This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.”
Below are some of the reactions to the bombshell report:
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
In an email to Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
“I’m horrified and if it’s true, he should step down immediately,” Murkowski said.
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.
“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling. If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election,” the NRSC chaiman said in an email.
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.
“If they are true, then he should seriously think about stepping aside,” he said.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
“I find it deeply distrusting and troubling. It’s up to the governor and the folks of Alabama to make that decision as far as what the next steps are,” he said.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
“If they’re accurate, he absolutely should [step aside],” Scott said.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine
“If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as Senate candidate,” she said.
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.
“These are very serious allegations and if true he should step down,” the senator said.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
“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,” McCain said.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
“If that’s true, I don’t believe there’d be any place for him in the United States Senate,” he said.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.
In a tweet, Flake said Moore should step aside if the allegations are true. “If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.”
Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala.
Sen. Strange called the allegations “disturbing.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.
Sasse called the Post’s story “heartbreaking.”