Senators Mike Lee and Steve Daines, of Utah and Montana respectively, said Friday that they would pull their endorsements of Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Alabama senator, after allegations that Moore pursued sexual encounters with teenage girls nearly 40 years ago.
“Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate,” Lee wrote on Twitter Friday.
Daines said on Twitter shortly after that he would also be pulling his endorsement.
The Washington Post published a bombshell report Thursday in which a woman claimed that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32. Multiple additional women told the publication that Moore pursued relationships with them while he was in his 30s and they were between the ages of 16 and 18 or 19.
The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
Prior to the Washington Post report five senators had endorsed Moore for senator. After Lee and Daines pulled their endorsements, that leaves Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Cornyn.
“I believe they’re politically motivated,” Moore told Fox News Host Sean Hannity of the allegations earlier on Friday. “I believe they were brought on to stop a very successful campaign. And that’s what they’re doing.”
Moore, up to this point, had vehemently denied the allegations. He insisted in the interview with Hannity that he the allegation that he sexually abused a 14-year-old was untrue, and that he never met the woman who made the allegation.
But he also said he did recall knowing two of the other women cited in the story: Debbie Wesson Gibson, who said Moore sought a romantic relationship with her when he was 34, and Gloria Thacker Deason, who said she was 18 when she started going out with the 32-year-old Moore, who bought her alcohol when she was either 18 or 19.
The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19 at the time.