WASHINGTON (CNN) – Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore says he’s being hounded by the news media over sexual allegations against him, while briefly addressing the controversy Tuesday night.
“Why do you think they’re giving me this trouble? Why do you think I’m being harassed by media and by people pushing allegations in the last 28 days of the election? … After 40-something years of fighting this battle, I’m now facing allegations and that’s all the press wants to talk about,” Moore said while speaking at a church conference in Jackson, Alabama.
Moore, an evangelical Christian who was twice ousted as Alabama’s chief justice, suggested he’s being attacked for his hardline views on faith in public life as part of an ongoing “spiritual battle.”
“But I want to talk about the issues,” he added. “I want to talk about where this country’s going, and if we don’t come back to God, we’re not going anywhere.”
Multiple women have said that Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers while he was in his 30s. One woman said she was 14 years old when Moore initiated sexual contact with her. And on Monday, a separate Alabama woman alleged Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, and described her experience at a news conference, represented by attorney Gloria Allred.
Moore characterized those allegations as politically motivated, and quipped during his Tuesday night speech that he’s the “only one that can unite Democrats and Republicans, because I seem to be opposed by both.”
Republicans have continued to voice concern over Moore’s campaign bid amid the allegations, and as of Tuesday night, the Republican National Committee had withdrawn from a joint fundraising agreement with Moore, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.
Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Moore should step aside.
“I believe the women, yes,” McConnell said.
Moore, who has repeatedly denied the allegations, has also threatened to sue The Washington Post over the report that broke the news last week.
“The Washington Post published another attack on my character and reputation because they are desperate to stop my political campaign. These attacks said I was with a minor child and are false and untrue — and for which they will be sued,” Moore said Sunday night during a campaign speech in Huntsville, Alabama.
Moore is running for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat, currently occupied by Sen. Luther Strange, R-Alabama.
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