Moore says allegations meant to derail Senate bid
VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. — A defiant Roy Moore on Saturday said the allegations of sexual misconduct decades ago were false and voters in Alabama would “see through this charade.”
The Republican Senate candidate showed no signs of backing down despite the demand of some Washington Republicans for him to step aside.
Moore made his first public appearance on Saturday since The Washington Post on Thursday published interviews with four women who said Moore had tried to have sexual or romantic relationships with them decades ago when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s and an established attorney.
National Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, called for Moore to drop out of the race if the allegations are true. Trump, who is in Asia and said he was too busy to keep up with the news about Moore, referred to a prior statement given to reporters that said Trump believes Moore will “do the right thing” if the allegations are true.
“I’m really upset at my own party for condemning him so quickly,” said Tom Byars, who came to hear Moore speak Saturday at the Mid-Alabama Republican Club at a library in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.
Moore’s speech Saturday in Vestavia Hills was his first public appearance since the report, but he had denied the story Friday to TV host Sean Hannity. Moore used the occasion to accuse the Post of engaging in a “desperate attempt to stop my political campaign for United States Senate.”
The GOP audience, which included state Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock and members of Alabama’s Republican National Committee, gave Moore a standing ovation when he finished speaking.
Moore denied claims in the story that he had provided beer and wine to women too young to buy it themselves, or that he had had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.