Roy Moore: second woman says Senate nominee sexually assaulted her as a minor
US politics Roy Moore: second woman says Senate nominee sexually assaulted her as a minor
Woman says Moore attacked her when she was 16, following report he had sexual contact with 14-year-old girl and prompting Republican backlash
A second woman has come forward to accuse Alabama GOP Sena te nominee Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a minor, as national Republicans continued to flee from the controversial candidate.
Beverly Young Nelson, speaking Monday at a news conference in New York with womenâs rights attorney Gloria Allred, said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16.
Nelson said that Moore physically attacked her in a car, grabbing her breasts and trying to force her head down on to his crotch.
âI thought he was going to rape me,â said Nelson, who at one point broke down in tears.Roy Moore allegations: bipartisan politicians call Trump's response too weak Read more
Moore called the allegations a âwitch huntâ in a statement shortly before the press conference.
Nelsonâs statement follows a Washington Post report that the 70-year-old Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier.
Immediately after the press conferen ce, Cory Gardner, the chair of the National Republican Senate Committee, said that if elected on 12 December, Moore should be expelled from the Senate.
âI believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.â
His statement followed remarks by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who said earlier on Monday that Moore âshould step asideâ from the race and added of his accusers: âI believe the women.â
In response, Moore said McConnell was âthe person who should step asideâ.
Moore had no immediate comment about the most recent allegations. He has dismissed the Post story as âfake newsâ and denied the reports.
The Washington Post last week quoted four women by name, including one who alleged sexual contact with Moore at 14, and had two dozen other sources.
Moore has insisted he will stay in the race. Dean Young, a top adviser to the Alabama Republican, pledged on Monday to the Guardian: âHeâs going to run, heâs going to win and heâs going to be seated or there will be in trouble in this nation.â
Young viewed the attempt to pressure Moore to step down as a âcoupâ and described the allegations as âtwo worlds colliding, elitist Republicans and the establishment which includes the Democrats and the fake newsâ versus âthe good solid people of Alabamaâ.
Young went on to deride those Republicans who have called for Moore to step down. âNobody in Alabama cares what Lindsey Graham thinks, what Mitch McConnell thinks,â he said. âNo one in Alabama cares what Pat Toomey thinks or John McCain.â
Moore has long called for McConnell to step down, for example telling a cheering crowd at an election eve rally in September: âMitch McConnell needs to be replaced.â
McConnell actively supported the appointed incumbent Luther Strange against Moore in the runoff to fill the Senate seat that was vacated by Jeff Sessionsâ confirmation as attorney general.
Moore is a hardline conservative who has the backing of former White House strategist and Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon in his drive against candidates from the Republican establishment.
Moore told supporters on Sunday night in Huntsville, Alabama that neither Democrats nor Republicans want to see him win on 12 December . The Post story, he said, was âfake newsâ and âa desperate attempt to stop my political campaignâ.
Moore said the allegations were âuntrueâ and said the Post âwill be suedâ, drawing applause. He also questioned why such allegations would be leveled for the first time so close to the special election, despite his decades in public life.
âWhy would they come now? Because there are groups that donât want me in the United States Senate,â he said, naming the Democratic party and the Republican establishment and accusing them of working together. He added: âWe do not plan to let anybody deter us from this race.â
Moore has tried to raise money from the controversy, writing in a fundraising pitch on Sunday that he was counting on supporters âto stand with me at this critical moment by chipping in a donation to help me bust through the vicious lies and attacks and get the truth out to as many voters as possible before 12 Decemberâ.
O n Sunday another Republican senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, said Mooreâs explanations regarding the Post piece were inadequate and that Republicans should consider Strange as a write-in candidate.
Even if Moore were to step aside, his name would probably remain on the ballot. Any effort to add Strange would probably divide the Republican vote and give the Democratic candidate a greater chance of winning. On Monday morning, the realclearpolitics.com average gave Moore a two-point lead, putting the race in a deep red state into unlikely toss-up territory.
Republicans have also mooted that Sessions would run for his old seat and step down as attorney general. However, a source close to Sessions told the Guardian that âhe has been telling folks in Alabama he isnât interestedâ.
Toomey did not rule out the possibility that Senate Republicans might refuse to work with Moore if he wins against Democrat Doug Jones.
âYou know, this is a terrible situation, nearly 40-year-old allegation, weâll probably never know for sure exactly what happened,â Toomey said on NBC. âBut from my point of view, I think the accusations have more credibility than the denial. I think it would be best if Roy would just step aside.â
The White House, pointedly noting that Trump did not back Moore during the primary â" after it deleted tweets in sup port of Strange and made favourable comments about Moore â" said the president would probably weigh in when he returns from Asia later this week.
On Air Force One on Saturday Trump referred reporters to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sandersâ original statement on Moore, which said he should step aside if the allegations were proven to be true. The president also claimed he did not know about Mooreâs case because he did ânot watch much televisionâ.
White House legislative aide Marc Short told NBC on Sunday: âI think thereâs a special place in hell for those who actually perpetrate these crimes. But, having said that, he hasnât been proved guilty. We have to afford him the chance to defend himself.â
Trump himself has been accused by least 16 women of sexual misconduct or assault. He has denied the allegations and Sanders said last month all t he women were lying.
Moore is an outspoken Christian conservative who has said âhomosexual conduct should be illegalâ and who claimed the 9/11 attacks were a case of divine retribution. He was removed from the Alabama supreme court in 2003, for refusing to remove a biblical monument from the state judicial building, and in 2016, for refusing to follow the US supreme court ruling that legalised same-sex marriage.
The Post reported last Thursday that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers, decades earlier. While he called the allegations âcompletely false and misleadingâ in an interview with conservative radio host Sean Hannity, Moore did not wholly rule out dating teenage girls when he was in his early 30s.
Asked if that would have been usual for him, he said: âNot generally, no.â He added that he did not âremember ever dating any girl without the permission of her motherâ.
Losing the Alabama electi on would imperil the slim Republican majority in the Senate, which is hoping to pass legislation to cut taxes later this year.Topics
- US politics
- US Senate
- Donald Trump
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