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The Latest: GOPers call Roy Moore story 'deeply troubling'

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for Senate in Alabama (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

The top Senate Republican says if the report about Alabama candidate Roy Moore and sexual contact with a 14-year-old is true, he should drop out of the race.

In a one-sentence statement Thursday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says: "If these allegations are true, he must step aside."

The response was swift from Senate Republicans shortly after The Washington Post story about Moore initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl several decades ago.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado says, "The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling." Gardner chairs the Republican senatorial campaign committee. He adds, "If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election."

Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Jeff Flake of Arizona echoed those comments, and No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas calls the report "deeply troubling."

The election is Dec. 12.

___

2:22 p.m.

An Alabama woman says Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for next month's U.S. Senate election, made inappropriate advances and had sexual contact with her when she was 14, according to a Washington Post story Thursday. The Senate's GOP leader said if the report is shown to be true, Moore must step aside.

The woman, Leigh Corfman, says Moore met her several times when he was a local prosecutor in his 30s and at one point drove her to his home where he touched her over her underwear and guided her hand to touch him over his, the Post reported. They did not have sexual intercourse, the Post said.

Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by the Post in recent weeks said Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. None of the other women said that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.

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