McCain: Allegations against Moore 'deeply disturbing and disqualifying'

McCain: Allegations against Moore 'deeply disturbing and disqualifying'
© Camille Fine

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Mark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally MORE (R-Ariz.) is calling on Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore to exit the race amid allegations of an inappropriate sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979.

"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.”

In calling for Moore to step aside, McCain joined a growing number of Senate Republicans condemning the allegations against the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice.

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But unlike other GOP lawmakers, McCain was unconditional in his call for Moore to withdraw his candidacy in the Senate race. Other lawmakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTSA agents protest government shutdown at Pittsburgh airport The case for Russia sanctions Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE (R-Ky.), have said that Moore should step aside "if these allegations are true."

A bombshell report in The Washington Post on Thursday detailed allegations that Moore sought sexual relationships with four women while he was in his 30s and they were teenagers.

One of the accusers, Leigh Corfman, alleged that she had sexual contact with Moore in 1979 when she was 14. 

Moore, 70, has been considered the likely winner of the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated earlier this year by Attorney General Sessions. He beat Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeDomestic influence campaigns borrow from Russia’s playbook Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Five things to watch in Mississippi Senate race MORE (R-Ala.), who was appointed to temporarily fill the seat, in a runoff election in September.