Senate candidate Roy Moore does not rule out that he may have dated teen girls when he was in his 30s

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore declined Friday to rule out that he may have dated girls in their late teens when he was in his 30s, though he said he did not remember any such encounters and described such behavior as inappropriate.

“If I did, I’m not going to dispute these things, but I don’t remember anything like that,” Moore said on Sean Hannity’s radio program, when asked whether he had dated 17- or 18-year-old girls at the time.

In the same interview, Moore denied outright the claim of Leigh Corfman that he had initiated sexual encounters with her when she was 14. “I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody,” he said. “The allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false.”

Moore’s comments came as GOP leaders scrambled Friday to limit the political damage from the allegations. Two Republican senators — Steve Daines (Mont.) and Mike Lee (Utah) — withdrew their endorsements of Moore after his interview with Hannity.

“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 wrote in a tweet.

In a tweet, Daines was more succinct: “I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate.” Daines also retweeted Lee’s statement.

Earlier in the day, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled out of a joint committee it had set up with Moore, depriving him of a fundraising vehicle for the final weeks of the campaign. At the same time, current and former national party leaders admitted that they have little power to force Moore from the race. The special election is Dec. 12.

The comments came a day after The Washington Post published a story in which a woman said Moore had initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32. Three other women said he had asked or taken them on dates when they were teenagers. None of those three women say Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.

In the interview with Hannity, Moore recalled knowing two of the older women, Gloria Thacker Deason and Debbie Wesson Gibson, as well as their parents. “I knew her as a friend,” he said of Gibson, who has said Moore asked her on a date when she was 17, after speaking at her high school. “If we did go out on dates, then we did, but I do not remember that,” Moore said.

When asked about Deason’s claim that he provided her wine on…

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