Alabama secretary of State still backs Moore: Accusers could be ‘making it up’

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) said Tuesday that he is still backing Roy Moore for the Senate seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Trump-aligned group launches ad campaign hitting Doug Jones on impeachment ICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report MORE in the face of multiple accusations from women who say Moore attempted sexual contact with them when they were underage, saying they could be "making it up."

In an interview with CNN, Merrill said that he will continue to support Moore over Democrat Doug Jones unless proof of the allegations is uncovered. The incidents are alleged to have occurred decades ago when Moore was a district attorney.

"As of today, with the information that has been introduced to me, and if these charges are not proven to be true, then I would continue to support and vote for Judge Moore," Merrill told host Alisyn Camerota.


"I didn't do the investigation so I don't know what level of validity there is," Merrill continued. "I don't know whether they're making it up or not, because I don't know their intention. I don't know whether there are other things that have happened to them to cause them to come forward at this time."

A The Washington Post report last week detailed accusations from Leigh Corfman, now 53, who said she had a sexual encounter with Moore in 1979, when she was 14 years old. Moore was 32 at the time, serving as an assistant district attorney.

When asked directly whether he thought it was possible the women were lying, Merrill said that "anything is possible."

"Well, again, I think that anything is possible. I think this is a very, very difficult time for our state, I think it's a difficult time for our people," Merrill said. 

"Judge Moore has been on the ballot eight times," he added. "Different elections, primaries, runoffs, general elections. He's been an officeholder for more than three decades in our state, and not one time has any of this information ever been introduced publicly until some 30 days prior to the biggest election in his career."

Moore is set to face Jones in December. National Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap Overnight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — CDC, State Department warn against travel to China | Biden says Trump left US unprepared for epidemic | Justices allow Trump 'public charge' rule to move forward Progressive group targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment witnesses MORE (R-Ky.) have dropped their support of Moore and called for him to step aside.

"The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell," Moore responded on Twitter. "He has failed conservatives and must be replaced."