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GOP candidate Roy Moore faces new allegations, new pressure to quit Senate race

The Senate's top Republican Mitch McConnell told reporters that he believes the women who have accused Roy Moore of inappropriate actions and that Alabama's GOP candidate must step aside. While the former state chief justice insists he is innocent, McConnell’s condemnation comes as another woman has spoken up. Lisa Desjardins reports that voters appear to have mixed opinions.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Alabama’s Republican nominee to the U.S. Senate, Roy Moore, faces new pressure tonight to quit the race, and new allegations of sexual contact decades ago with teenage girls.

    Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Now 55 years old, Beverly Young Nelson alleges that Senate candidate Roy Moore violently assaulted her when she was 16 after offering her a ride home.

  • Beverly Young Nelson:

    Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, him putting his hands on my breasts. I tried fighting him off while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head on to his crotch.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Sitting with her high-profile attorney, Gloria Allred, Nelson gave details, including showing that Moore, then district attorney, signed her yearbook a few days before the alleged attack. She says she came forward publicly now after hearing the charges of other women.

  • Beverly Young Nelson:

    I want Mr. Moore to know that he no longer has any power over me and I no longer live in fear of him.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Her story sparked a new round of reaction. Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, who oversees GOP Senate elections, said the Senate should expel Moore if he win his Senate seat.

    Hours earlier, the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said Moore should drop out of the race.

  • Sen. Mitch Mcconnell:

    I think he should step aside.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    McConnell added that he believes the accusations from four women in the original The Washington Post story that ran last week.

  • Sen. Mitch Mcconnell:

    I believe the women, yes.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Moore fired back at McConnell on Twitter, saying the Senate leader is the one who should step aside.

    Repeatedly, including in Birmingham over the weekend, the former state chief justice has insisted he is innocent.

  • Roy Moore:

    These attacks involve a minor and they are completely false and untrue. To think that grown women would wait 40 years to come before, right before an election, to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Moore said he will sue The Washington Post over the original story. Those who may decide Moore’s fate, Alabama voters, were mixed following those first accusations, some critical of him.

  • Man:

    Nothing that he says holds any water with me.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    But others taking Moore’s word over his accusers.

  • Man:

    Yes, right now, I believe him. I surely do.

  • Man:

    If it was me, if somebody had done me wrong, I would go ahead when the event took place, I would say something then. Why would I wait 30 years?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    For now, Moore is set to take on Democrat Doug Jones on December 12. His new accuser says she wants a Senate hearing on her charges within two weeks.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins.

  • Judy Woodruff:, two more U.S. senators withdrew their support of Moore:

    Late today John Cornyn of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

    We will explore the Roy Moore story in greater detail a little later in the program.

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