WH On Moore Report: ‘That Hypothetical Would Be Disqualifying For Anyone’

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway stands before President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Washington. Trump is announcing the first U.S. assembly plant for electronics giant Foxconn in a project that's expected to result in billions of dollars in investment in the state and create thousands of jobs. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Thursday that allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore made in the Washington Post “would be disqualifying for anyone in public office.”

“We need to listen to both sides, but at the same time, that hypothetical would be disqualifying for anyone in public office,” Conway said, in a clip aired on MSNBC.

The Post reported the stories of four women who said Moore pursued relationships with them as a grown man when they were teenagers. In one case, a 32-year-old Moore took then-14-year-old Leigh Corfman to his house, undressing her before initiating sexual contact.

She remembers that Moore kissed her, that he took off her pants and shirt, and that he touched her through her bra and underpants. She says that he guided her hand to his underwear and that she yanked her hand back,” the Post reported.

The White House’s director of legislative affairs, Marc Short, said on CNN later Thursday that “there’s no path forward” for Moore if the Post’s reporting is accurate.

“That’s a big ‘If’ clause, Wolf, it certainly is, but yes,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

But, pressed on how Alabama voters should determine the veracity of the allegations — which the Post reported after interviews with more than 30 sources — Short had few specific ideas.

“I think that the voters of Alabama deserve to know the truth and I think the voters of Alabama will demand more information, more facts to figure this out,” he said.

Some GOP leaders have called on Moore to drop out of the race to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat — still, other Alabama officials have dismissed the Post’s reporting and defended Moore. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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