Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says fellow Republican and Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has the right to defend himself against allegations involving sexually inappropriate behavior. Four women claim Moore pursued them while the women were teenagers and he was in his 30s. One of the women alleges sexual contact occurred. Hawley says the allegations and corroborating evidence are disturbing.

“I think the President is right about this that the judge certainly has the right to defend himself and come forward with what he believes are the facts,” says Hawley. “The facts are often complicated. I don’t know what the facts are in this case but Judge Moore does. So he should come forward with what the facts are.”

According to a written statement provided later from Hawley, he says unless Moore can give rock solid evidence that the claims are false, Hawley says Moore should drop out of the race.

“I emphasize these are criminal allegations,” says Hawley.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri)

Missouri Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who Hawley is running to unseat, says Moore should immediately step aside.

“As an experienced prosecutor in sexual assault cases, I believe these women and I believe Roy Moore has damaged his credibility with shifting stories,” McCaskill said. “He is not fit to serve in the Senate.”

Moore tells the Washington Post that the allegations are “fake news”. During an interview with Sean Hannity, Moore does not go as far as denying that he dated teenagers when he was in his 30s.