McCain: Roy Moore Should ‘Immediately’ Step Aside From Senate Race After ‘Disturbing’ Allegations

Republicans rushed to distance themselves from GOP Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore on Thursday after a woman alleged that he had sexually assaulted her in 1979 when she was just 14 years old.

According to an explosive new report in The Washington Post, Leigh Corfman, now 53, said she met Moore when he offered to watch her during her mother’s child custody hearing.

Corfman claims Moore, who at the time served as an assistant district attorney, asked for her phone number, and that the two met on two separate occasions.

During their first encounter, the two allegedly kissed.

During the second, Corfman claims Moore removed his clothes, took off her shirt and pants, and touched her over her bra and underpants.

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, called on Moore to “immediately” step aside.

“The allegations against Roy Moore are 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.”

“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement. “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.”

“If these allegations are true, Roy Moore should step aside for all the obvious reasons. These are very disturbing allegations,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters on Thursday.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Republican leader in the chamber who endorsed Moore last month, called the allegations against Moore “deeply disturbing.”

“If that’s true, I don’t believe there’d be any place for him in the United States Senate,” said Richard Shelby, the senior senator from Alabama.

Moore’s campaign slammed the report in a statement on Thursday, saying he was the victim of a “systematic campaign to distort the truth about the Judge’s record and career and derail his campaign.”

“After over 40 years of public service, if any of these allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now,” Moore’s campaign said.

Moore, ousted twice as state Supreme Court chief justice, is revered among social conservatives for his extreme anti-LGBT views and his advocacy for Christianity in public life.

In a 2002 child custody case, Moore voted with the majority of his fellow justices on the Alabama Supreme Court to grant custody to an abusive father rather than grant custody to the lesbian mother. In the ruling, Moore wrote that homosexuality is “abominable, detestable, unmentionable, and too disgusting and well known to require other definition or further details or description.”

Moore has said marriage equality will “literally cause the destruction of our country or lead to the destruction of our country over the long run.”

He has said that transgender people suffer from a mental disorder and that actions against opponents of marriage equality are similar to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, reports The Advocate.

During a 2005 interview, Moore said he believed homosexual conduct should still be illegal after the 2003 landmark Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas that struck down a state law banning sodomy, rendering similar laws across the country unconstitutional.

“What I think is that it was illegal under the law, that the Supreme Court usurped the role of the legislature and ruled something about our moral law that is improper, and that’s what we’re finding the Supreme Court and the federal district courts are doing daily,” Moore responded. “They’ve usurped the moral prerogative, now, if you want–”

“Homosexual conduct should be illegal,” Moore added.