Ryan: Roy Moore allegations 'disqualifying if true'

Ryan: Roy Moore allegations 'disqualifying if true'
© Camille Fine

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Kelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) responded to allegations of sexual misconduct against GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore on Thursday, saying the allegations are “disqualifying if true.”

“These allegations are disqualifying if true. Anyone who would do this to a child has no place in public office, let alone the United States Senate,” Ryan said in a statement.

In a bombshell report in The Washington Post on Thursday, Moore was accused of having a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he was 32.

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Leigh Corfman, now 53, said Moore asked for her phone number and the pair met later on two separate occasions. On the first, the two kissed. During the second, she said Moore removed his clothes, took off her shirt and pants, and touched her over her bra and underwear, according to the account in the Post. Corfman said the two did not have intercourse.

The newspaper also found three other women who said Moore had approached them around a similar time, when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.

Moore has denied the allegations, saying they are "completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.” 

A number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have condemned the actions detailed in the reports. Many Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash House passes bipartisan bill to boost business investment MORE (R-Ky.) have said Moore should step aside if the allegations are true.

Vice President Pence also echoed those comments in his own statement Thursday. His press secretary told reporters that Pence “found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office.”

Moore has been the favorite to win in the December special election against Democratic candidate Doug Jones, but the shocking revelations could roil the race.

Moore beat out current Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeRoby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism Once a Trump critic, Ala. rep faces runoff with his support Crowley surprise tops huge night for left MORE (R-Ala.) in the GOP primary in September. The seat previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHomeland Security advisory council members resign over family separations: report Once a Trump critic, Ala. rep faces runoff with his support Ryan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' MORE.