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Pence: Moore allegations ‘disturbing’
Vice President Pence on Thursday called new allegations that Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore had sexual encounters with teenage girls "disturbing," adding that if they are true, it would be grounds to disqualify Moore from the race.
Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah told reporters Thursday that Pence, "found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office."
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a teenager he met outside a courtroom in Alabama in 1979 when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney in the state.
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, however, have said Moore should only be called upon to step aside "if [the allegations] are true."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), were among those who called for Moore to step aside if the allegations are true.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) went the furthest of Senate Republicans on Thursday, calling on Moore to immediately step down.
"The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying," McCain said in a statement. "He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of."
Moore has been the favorite to win against Democratic candidate Doug Jones, but the shocking revelations could roil the race. Moore beat out current Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in the GOP primary in September. The seat previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.