WASHINGTON -- A growing chorus of Senate Republicans including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, have called on Senate candidate Roy Moore to withdraw from a special election in Alabama in the wake of allegations that the former judge initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl nearly four decades ago.
"If these allegations are true, he must step aside," McConnell said in a formal statement on behalf of all Republican senators.
Other Republican senators who weighed in included Jeff Flake of Arizona, David Perdue of Georgia; John Thune of South Dakota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The Washington Post published an extensive report Thursday describing Moore's relationships with the then-14-year-old and three other girls he pursued when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.
None of the women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore's Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls.
Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don't know one another.