The Republican National Committee is pulling out of a joint fundraising agreement with GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, Politico reported Tuesday.
Moore, who is running in the Dec. 12 special election to fill Alabama’s open U.S. Senate seat, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women who say he preyed on them when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. Moore has denied the allegations and vowed to stay in the race.
Federal Election Commission filings immediately showed the change, as Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity noted:
The RNC’s withdrawal is the latest move by Republicans to distance themselves from Moore and his candidacy.
Many Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have called on Moore to leave the race.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, pulled out of the fundraising agreement last week.
And on Monday, NRSC chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said if Moore does win the election, senators should vote to expel him from the chamber.
“I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office,” Gardner said in a statement.
Most Senate Republicans never supported Moore, one of several “insurgent” Senate candidates backed by former White House adviser Steve Bannon. Bannon has declared war on the GOP establishment and has reportedly pressed the candidates he’s backing to pledge to vote against McConnell’s re-election as majority leader.
Just five GOP senators endorsed Moore’s candidacy. All but one — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — have withdrawn their support since the allegations came to light.
Moore, a staunch social conservative who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for violating federal orders, has remained defiant as establishment Republicans retreat. His most fervent supporters have also stuck with him, with many claiming the allegations are politically motivated.
This is a developing story and has been updated.