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Alabama’s besieged GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore lashed out at his party’s leaders on Tuesday night, saying they were uniting with Democrats in trying to drive him out of the race with false accusations that he sexually assaulted teenage girls when he was in his 30s.
“I’m now facing allegations -- that’s all the press want to talk about,” Moore told an audience at a "God Save America" conference in Jackson, Ala. “But I want to talk about the issues. I want to talk about where this country’s going. And if we don’t come back to God, we’re not going anywhere.”
Moore’s campaign rally came as more national Republican leaders dropped their support for him in the Dec. 12 election to fill the Senate seat formerly held by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.
“If he cares about the values and people he claims to care about, then he should step aside,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said.
In congressional testimony Tuesday, Sessions said he had no reason to doubt Moore's accusers and did not rule out a Justice Department investigation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), at a conference sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, floated the idea of Sessions running as a write-in candidate.
“He’s totally well known and extremely popular in Alabama,” McConnell said.
Sessions’ aides say he’s uninterested. To run, he would need to give up a job he loves in order to take on a race he would be uncertain to win for a three-year stint in his old Senate seat.
An Alabama television station reported that at least one person had received what appeared to be a recorded message from a person impersonating a Washington Post reporter, offering money in return for damaging information about Moore. The impersonator claimed his name was Bernie Bernstein.
Washington Post editor Martin Baron issued a statement saying the Post was “shocked and appalled that anyone would stoop to this level to discredit real journalism.”