North Carolina Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr joined a growing group of Republicans calling for Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race after a fifth woman publicly accused the former judge of sexual misconduct Monday.
“The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness for office. He should immediately withdraw from the race,” Tillis wrote on Twitter on Monday evening.
Burr also called on Moore to withdraw from the race.
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“With 5 women now coming forward, Moore should do the right thing and withdraw from the race,” he said in a statement released by his office.
It was his first public comment since the scandal erupted last week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believed the women and called for Moore to get out of the race earlier Monday. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, also called for Moore to step down.
Moore has denied the allegations and vowed to remain in the race. After McConnell called for him to get out, he tweeted that McConnell is the one who should step aside.
Moore won the Republican nomination to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate. Moore defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who had the backing of McConnell and President Donald Trump. Moore will face Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 election.
Last week, the Washington Post reported allegations that Moore sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was in his early 30s. The Post had four women speaking on the record, all who alleged that Moore went out with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
A fifth woman, who alleges that Moore offered her a ride home but instead groped her and assaulted her in the late 1970s when she was 16 and he was a district attorney in Alabama, told her story Monday.
Rep. Mark Meadows, who district includes far western North Carolina, was an early endorser of Moore in the primary. Meadows said last week that “(t)he allegations in the Washington Post story are deeply disturbing, and if proven true, Judge Moore should immediately step aside.” Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is still listed on Moore’s website as an endorser.
Meadows told the Washington Examiner that it’s up to the voters of Alabama to decide what happens to Moore.
“You can't unring a bell,” Meadows said when asked if he is still endorsing Moore. “At this point, it’s up to Alabama to figure out — Washington D.C.’s not going to decide that. The people of Alabama will.”