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McConnell: 'I Believe the Women' Accusing Roy Moore

mitch mcconnell at the capitol

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared in his home state today that he believes those accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, prompting the former judge to send out a fundraising pitch accusing the GOP leader of a "dirty plot to destroy me."

The Washington Post reported Thursday on the allegations of four women, all named on the record, who say that Moore asked them out and kissed them when they were teenagers. One woman who was 14 at the time, which is below the age of consent for any sexual contact in Alabama (second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor), said Moore took her to a rural home, undressed down to his underwear, touched her through her bra and underwear, and moved her hand toward his genitals before she asked that he take her home. Leigh Corfman said she voted for Donald Trump.

After the story hit the headlines, Teresa Jones, deputy district attorney for Etowah County, Ala., from 1982 until 1985, told CNN it was "common knowledge" that her former colleague Moore "dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird."

"We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall ... but you really wouldn't say anything to someone like that," Jones said.

Attorney Gloria Allred reportedly planned to come forward with a fifth accuser this afternoon "who alleges that Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a minor in Alabama."

McConnell said after the news broke last week that Moore should withdraw from the race if the allegations are true.

Pressed about Moore at a presser in Louisville today, McConnell said, "I think he should step aside."

And the Senate leader confirmed, "I believe the women, yes."

Moore fired back on Twitter that McConnell is the one who should step aside. "He has failed conservatives and must be replaced," Moore said.

In a fundraising email, Moore said that "according to sources, establishment Republicans are colluding with the Obama-Clinton Machine behind-the-scenes in a desperate effort to sabotage my campaign and keep me out of Washington."

"I've been abandoned by Washington's establishment Republicans with just four weeks left before Election Day," he added.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee cut its fundraising ties with Moore. He also lost the endorsements of Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Steve Danies (R-Mont.). "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 tweeted.