Political allies of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore stood firmly behind him Tuesday – refuting allegations he inappropriately pursued teenage girls and accusing the GOP establishment and mainstream media for trying to sink his campaign.
In a fiery news conference in Alabama, Moore's longtime strategist Dean Young accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and The Washington Post, which first reported the allegations of sexual misconduct, of orchestrating the scandal that has engulfed Moore ahead of a Dec. 12 special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"The Judge Moore you knew two weeks ago is the same Judge Moore," Dean said in remarks directed at voters. "What we're seeing on a national and a worldwide effort is to stop Judge Roy Moore at any cost."
"Mitch McConnell has spent over $30 million trying to stop Judge Moore," he charged. "The Washington Post and all of the fake media for the last two weeks have said everything they can say about Judge Moore. They're trying to dig people up, put them on TV, and say Judge Moore is a bad guy. . . .
"If you can be tricked in two weeks about Judge Roy Moore, then they win," he added.
Ben DuPre, Moore's former chief of staff on the Alabama Supreme Court, condemned reports Moore was once banned from a local mall because of his pursuit of young women.
"If the liberal media were half as interested in investigating these accusations against Judge Moore as they are in scaring up 1980s-era false gossip at the Gadsden Mall, then we would be getting to the bottom of this and moving on," he said.
Added ally Stan Cooke: "Allegations are words. They are not facts . . . They are not indictments, and they are not charges."
The Moore backers challenged details given by Leigh Corfman who said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 14 and by Beverly Nelson who said Moore assaulted her when he was a 16-year-old waitress. The campaign says former restaurant employees and a former customer don't remember Nelson working there or Moore eating there.
Young called the accusations against Moore "fake news," but wouldn't take questions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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