MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — His party suddenly and bitingly divided, Alabama Republican Roy Moore emphatically rejected increasing pressure to abandon his Senate bid on Friday as fears grew among GOP leaders that a once-safe Senate seat was in jeopardy just a month before a special election.
Moore, an outspoken Christian conservative and former state Supreme Court judge, attacked a Washington Post report that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier as “completely false and misleading.”
In an interview with conservative radio host Sean Hannity, he did not wholly rule out dating teenage girls when he was in his early 30s.
Asked if that would have been usual for him, Moore said, “Not generally, no.” He added: “I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.” As for the encounter with 14-year-old Leigh Corfman, as described by Corfman in Thursday’s Post article, he said, “It never happened.”
The story has produced a wave of concern among anxious GOP officials in Washington but little more than a collective shrug from many Republicans in Alabama, which holds a special election on Dec. 12 to fill the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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