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The Republican Party's Senate campaign wing severed its fundraising ties to Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore on Friday, a day after a woman accused him of initiating a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old.
Paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday showed a joint fundraising committee for the 70-year-old judge no longer included the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), a group that works to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate.
Moore was sharply criticized by Senate Republicans on Thursday after The Washington Post published allegations by a woman who said Moore had initiated inappropriate sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32. Three other women said Moore pursued dating relationships with them when they were between 16 and 18 years old and he was in his 30s.
Moore, a conservative Christian who was favored to win the Dec. 12 special election, strongly rejected the allegations, calling them 'completely false and a desperate political attack.”
His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the NRSC decision to cut off fundraising.
The updated organization statement for the Alabama 2017 Senate Victory Committee says Moore's U.S. Senate campaign is still working with the Alabama Republican Party and the Republican National Committee to raise funds for his election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Moore to drop out of the race 'if these allegations are true,” and several other Republicans echoed that statement. Senator John McCain went further, saying the allegations were 'deeply disturbing and disqualifying” and Moore should step aside.
Sen. Joni Ernst joined colleagues in calling for Moore to quit the race if there is a basis for the accusations women have made.
'If the allegations are true, he needs to step out,” the Iowa Republican said after a Veterans Day event in Cedar Rapids Friday. 'There's no room for that in the United States Senate.”
Whether Moore delays a decision until there is an investigation into the allegations, as some have suggested he should, it may not matter to voters, Ernst added.
'I think the voters are going to be pretty outraged as well with or without being able to prove it,” Ernst said.
(Reporting by David Alexander and Joseph Ax; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Mary Milliken)