In our news wrap Friday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed paperwork to pull out of a joint fundraising agreement with Judge Roy Moore, who is accused of molesting a minor decades ago in reporting by the Washington Post. Also, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she is among the young women sexually abused by a former physician with U.S.A. Gymnastics.
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The firestorm surrounding Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has grown wider.
It stems from allegations published yesterday in The Washington Post that Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with minors. The national Republican Senatorial Committee today moved to end its fund-raising agreement with the candidate, ahead of the December 12 election.
When asked in a radio interview whether he remembered dating young girls, Moore said — quote — “Not generally.”
He also flatly denied inappropriate interactions with a 14-year-old, as The Post had reported.
It never happened, and I don’t even like hearing it because it never happened. And they’re doing this a month away. They’re bringing it up because it’s political.
It’s a direct attack on this campaign. And it involves a 14-year-old girl, which I would have never had any contact with, nothing with her mother, or in a courthouse or anywhere else, would I have done that.
The Washington Post reported the accuser has voted Republican in the past few presidential elections.
Also today, Alabama’s Republican governor was asked if she found the account of Moore’s female accusers trustworthy. She responded, “Why wouldn’t it be?”
Gov. Kay Ivey:
These allegations are deeply disturbing. I will withhold judgment until we get the facts. People of Alabama deserve to know the truth. And then they will make their discussions.
Also today, Utah’s GOP Senator Mike Lee asked for his image to be removed from Moore’s fund-raising pitches.
In another revelation coming in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she is among the young women sexually abused by a former physician with USA Gymnastics. The three-time Olympic gold medalist told “60 Minutes” on CBS she was 15 when she was first treated by Dr. Larry Nassar. He is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
We will take a closer look at the constant drip of sexual misconduct allegations right after the news summary.
President Trump again made clear his America first vision at a summit of world leaders in Vietnam today. The president railed against global trade practices that he said have disadvantaged Americans for decades. He said the U.S. won’t enter into any more large trade agreements, and repeated claims that past U.S. leaders were to blame for making bad deals.
President Donald Trump:
I do not blame China, or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs.
Later, President Trump came face to face with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The two were expected to hold a formal meeting on the sidelines of the summit, but it didn’t happen. Mr. Trump did shake hands and exchange a few words with Putin as they stood side by side for pictures with other leaders.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may now be in a town in Eastern Syria. A media outlet linked to the Syrian military says he’s holed up in an area near the Iraqi border that was partly recaptured by government forces this week. Syrian opposition activists denied the claim, and the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition says that it had — quote — “no releasable information” on Baghdadi’s whereabouts.
There were new questions today about Lebanon’s prime minister, who announced his resignation this week in a televised address from Saudi Arabia. Saad Hariri today denied that he is being held as a prisoner in Riyadh. But the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah disputed that claim, saying that the Saudis forced him to resign.
The group’s leader called for Hariri’s return.
(Through interpreter) Lebanon’s prime minister is detained in Saudi Arabia, and it has to release him. The Lebanese should work to bring him back to Lebanon, and then it is up to him to go wherever. Maybe he wants to go back to Saudi. It is his call.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Hariri should return to Lebanon to make his resignation official. He also said that Lebanon shouldn’t be used as a venue for the region’s proxy conflicts.
The special counsel’s Russia investigation is said to be taking aim at possible dealings between ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Turkey. The Wall Street Journal says that Robert Mueller is probing an alleged plan to give Flynn millions of dollars in exchange for his help in forcibly returning a Muslim cleric from the U.S. to Turkey.
Flynn’s lawyer denied the report.
It has also been widely reported that Mueller’s team has interviewed White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller.
The government says more than 600,000 Americans signed up for health coverage in the first week of this year’s Affordable Care Act open enrollment period. That puts sign-ups at least on track with previous years, despite President Trump’s claims that Obamacare is collapsing. Some 77 percent of those consumers were renewing their coverage.
And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 39 points to close at 23422. The Nasdaq rose a less than a point, and the S&P 500 dropped two. For the week, all three indices fell a fraction of a percent.