By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released a brief press statement on Thursday regarding the sexual assault allegations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” McConnell said in the 9-word statement.
The Washington Post first reported on the allegations against Moore on Thursday in an investigative piece about Moore allegedly acting inappropriately with an underaged girl.
The Post’s story follows Leigh Corfman, 53, who said Moore inappropriately touched her when she was 14 years old. Moore was 32 years old at the time of the allegation and served as the assistant district attorney in Etowah County.
Moore’s campaign, in an email to supporters, denied the allegation and labeled the Post’s story as a “baseless political attack.”
Along with McConnell, other Senate Republicans, including Alabama’s U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, asked Moore to step down as the Republican Nominee If the allegations were true.
“If that is true, I don’t think they’ll be any place for him in the U.S. Senate,” Shelby told reporters at the capital.
Throughout the general election, the Moore campaign has come into conflict with some of the Post’s stories.
Earlier this year, the Post published a story about Moore receiving a sizable income from his charity while not reporting that income to the IRS.
Moore denied that story too.
The relationship between the majority leader and Republican Senate candidate has been a strained one with Moore taking shots at McConnell all throughout the party primaries.
His main vector of attack had to deal with McConnell’s super PAC Senate Leadership Fund backing Moore’s main opponent U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala. The PAC put out several attack ads against Moore and other challengers in the Republican primary.
McConnell has expressed concerns in the past that Moore will not be an easy senator to manage considering his firebrand-style of conservatism.
Moore decisively beat Strange in September and will face Democrat Doug Jones in December. Current polling puts Moore winning with double digits.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey called for the election earlier this year.