The Latest: Moore claims ‘spiritual battle’ in US politics

The Latest on Roy Moore and the special election in Alabama for the U.S. Senate( all times local ):

10 p. m.

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore says there is a “spiritual battle” going on in American politics as he faces mounting pressure from national Republicans to drop out of the race.

Speaking Tuesday night at a Baptist church revival in southwest Alabama, Moore constructed only passing reference to the sexual misconduct allegations enveloping his Senate bid. As he has done at other stops, he indicated the allegations were an effort to stop his political career.

Moore asks: “Why do you think they’re giving me this difficulty? Why do you think I’m being harassed in the media and people pushing for an accusation in the last 28 days of the election? “

Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct with two teenagers when he was in a human in his 30 s.

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6: 20 p.m.

The Republican National Committee has severed its fundraising ties to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

A Federal Election Commission filing late Tuesday shows that “the member states national” party is no longer part of the effort to raise money for Moore, the embattled GOP nominee facing allegations of molesting two adolescents when he was in his 30 s.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee cut ties to Moore late last week after The Washington Post first reported on Moore and the women.

Washington Republicans are tightening pressure on Alabama’s GOP to maintain Moore from being elected to the Senate next month, with many voicing hope that President Donald Trump could use his clout to resolve a problem that Republicans say leaves them with no easy options.

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3: 30 p.m.

The Senate’s top Republican says the party still hopes to retain an Alabama Senate seat at the center of a scandal involving GOP nominee Roy Moore.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday: “We would hope to save the seat and that might require a write-in” campaign. McConnell says he expects to discuss the issue with President Donald Trump once he returns to Washington.

The national party has turned against Moore, a Christian conservative accused of molesting teenage girls during the late 1970 s when he was in his 30 s. Trump has remained quiet while on an extended trip to Asia.

McConnell says with the Dec. 12 election four weeks away, “it’s a very difficult matter” to try to retain the seat. Moore can’t be knocked off the ballot under Alabama law.

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This item has been corrected to say that the Dec. 12 election in Alabama is four weeks away.

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3 p. m.

Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones says he’s tired of people blaming his campaign for reports of sex misconduct by his Republican opponent, Roy Moore.

Jones addressed the scandal Tuesday after a campaign stop in Birmingham.

Asked whether his campaign was in touch with Moore’s alleged victims, Jones said, “I’m tired of people blaming this campaign.”

He says he has not heard from the women who assert misconduct and has “not reached out to them.” He said anything suggesting otherwise is “absolutely absurd and consistent with a pattern of absurd comments coming from both Roy Moore and his campaign.”

Jones largely downplayed the accusations of misconduct against Moore during a brief press conference.

He said he’d continue to focus on issues important to Alabama voters and “let that play out over there.”

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2: 10 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has spoken to both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent days about the Alabama Senate race and the allegations against GOP nominee Roy Moore.

That’s the word from two Washington Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the conversations.

Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, have called on Moore to step aside, but “hes having” dug in. The GOP is relying on Trump, hoping he can have some sway with Alabama Republican. The chairperson was returning from his Asia trip on Tuesday.

Both Washington Republicans say White House officers share the GOP concerns about Moore, who faces allegations of sexual misconduct, and holding onto the Senate seat.

–By Alan Fram

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11: 35 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has “no reason to doubt” women who have accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when they were minors.

Sessions constructed the comment under questioning Tuesday by Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Moore is operating for the seat Sessions held until his confirmation earlier this year. But Conference declined to say whether he guesses Moore should drop out of the race.

Women have accused Moore of groping them when they were adolescents decades ago.

Sessions says that would normally be a suit for state prosecutors. But he also says the Justice Department will “evaluate every case as to whether it would be investigated.”

Some Republicans have floated the idea of abandoning Moore and rallying around a write-in nominee, perhaps Sessions, who remains popular in Alabama.

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10: 50 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore “should step aside.” Ryan says allegations against Moore “are credible.”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Ryan joined the growing chorus of Washington Republicans calling on Moore to quit the race after two women stepped forward describing how Moore groped them when they adolescents decades ago. Moore has called the reports false.

Senate Republican, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been struggling to find a way to force Moore out. His name remains on the ballot for the Dec. 12 special election against Doug Jones.

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10: 10 a.m.

Democrat Doug Jones has unveiled a new campaign ad in which Alabama voters, including Republican, say they can’t vote for Roy Moore. Moore is facing demands from Washington Republican to quit the race as girls have emerged saying he groped them when they were teens decades ago.

Jones’ commercial, coming days after the revelations about allegations of sex misconduct against the Senate GOP candidate, highlights brief statements from several people.

One man says he’s a lifelong Republican but “just can’t” vote for Moore.

A woman asks “Don’t decency and integrity matter anymore? “

Jones appears briefly at the end saying he has adopted the ad.

The election is Dec. 12. Moore has dismissed the accusations as false.

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3: 25 a.m.

Roy Moore’s support from his fellow Republicans is hemorrhaging. And a second woman has accused the Alabaman of groping her when she was a teenager in the late 1970 s.

They were the most recent blows to Moore’s effort to win an open Senate seat that abruptly seems up for grabs.

Moore denied the newest accusations and said he doesn’t know his accuser.

But in New York, a tearful Beverly Young Nelson detailed an attack she says took place when she was 16 years old and he locked her in a car.

Last week, The Washington Post reported other alleged incidents decades ago.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he believes Moore’s accusers and wants the former judge to aim his candidacy. Moore says McConnell should leave his post because he’s disappointed conservatives.

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