Embattled Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore told supporters on Thursday that he would not back down amid calls for him to step aside from the race following a new report that accuses him of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor in 1979.
“I refuse to stand down,” he said in a new email.
Moore blasted the accusations, levied in a new story by The Washington Post, in a fundraising email to supporters. He called the allegations attacks from “the Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs.”
“The forces of evil are on the march in our country … I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values,” he wrote.
The Post’s story quotes Leigh Corfman, now 53, who said that Moore kissed her, touched her over her underwear and attempted to place her hand over his underwear when she was 14 years old.
The story goes on to quote three other women on the record who say Moore had approached them when he was in his 30s and they they were teenagers, but that no sexual contact occurred outside of kissing in some of those cases.
The accusations prompted a flood of Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), to call on Moore to step aside if the allegations are true.
Moore is the GOP’s nominee to replace Jeff Sessions, whom President Trump tapped to lead the Justice Department earlier this year. Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones in a race where Moore has been considered the front-runner.