(CN) – The Republican Party’s Senatorial Committee on Friday pulled out of its fundraising agreement with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore after published reports he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that an Alabama woman came forward said Moore began pursuing her in early 1979 after they met outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Alabama.
Leigh Corfman told the Post Moore called and met with her over the course of several days, and that he then took her to his home and kissed her.
The Post quotes Corfman saying that on a second visit he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes except for his underwear before touching her over her bra and underwear.
He also guided her hand to touch him over his underwear, she said.
Three other women interviewed by the Post said Moore, now 70, approached them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.
The Moore campaign denied the report as “the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation,” but that has quelled an immediate backlash from Republican Party leaders demanding he get out of the race if the accusations prove true.
And now papers filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday show the National Republican Senatorial Committee is no longer listed as part of a joint fundraising committee with Moore’s campaign, the Alabama Republican Party, and the Republican National Committee.
The other three entities remain in the contract, as of Friday afternoon. The special election to fill the seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is Dec. 12.
President Donald Trump took a moment while traveling in Asia to suggest Moore “will do the right thing and step aside” if sexual misconduct allegations against him are true.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling with the president that he believes a “mere allegation” — especially one from many years ago — shouldn’t be allowed to destroy a person’s life.
But Sanders says: “The president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”
One person who isn’t walking away from Moore is Breitbart Executive Chairman Steve Bannon, who derided the Post on Thursday as an “apparatus of the Democratic Party.”
Speaking that night in New Hampshire, President Trump’s former chief strategist reminded the audience that the Post the newspaper was among the first to report the “Access Hollywood” tape that caught Trump using sexually predatory language in 2005.
“Now is that a coincidence,” Bannon asked. “That’s what I mean when I say opposition party.”
A new poll conducted after the Post story broke on Thursday shows the Alabama Senate is tightening, with Moore tied with Democrat Doug Jones.
Moore and Jones are tied at 46 percent in the new poll by Decision Desk and Opinion Savvy, with 82 percent of respondents saying they were aware of the allegations leveled by named accusers in the Post story.
Prior to Thursday RealClearPolitics‘s average of polls in the state had Moore up by 6 points.
Despite the pressure on Moore to drop out of the race, 54 percent of Alabama voters — and 73 percent of Republicans — do not think he should step aside as the party’s nominee.
The new poll surveyed 515 likely voters and has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.