Republicans pull endorsements of Roy Moore after he acknowledges relationships with teens

Key Points
  • Two Republican senators, Mike Lee, Utah, and Steve Daines, Mont., rescinded their endorsements of Senate candidate Roy Moore, running in a special election in Alabama.
Senator Mike Lee
Katie Kramer | CNBC

Two Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana, rescinded their recent endorsements on Friday of Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, who is embroiled in a controversy over his alleged past relationships with teenage girls.

"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 tweeted late Friday.

Daines tweeted a similar message soon after: "I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate."

The senators' tweets followed a stunning report Thursday by The Washington Post, which documented the accounts of four women who said Moore had pursued sexual relationships with them when they were in their teens, and Moore was in his early 30s.

The youngest of the four women, Leigh Corfman, said Moore initiated multiple sexual encounters with her when she was 14 years old.

In an interview Friday afternoon with Sean Hannity, Moore denied ever having met Corfman, but said he may have dated at least two of the women who spoke to the Post.

Overall, Moore said, dating teenage girls in his 30s "would be out of my customary behavior." But when Hannity pressed him on whether he actually had, Moore claimed he couldn't recall.

This was only moments after Moore had insisted to Hannity that one of the women in the Post's story, Gloria Thacker Deason, had been 19, and not 18, when Moore dated her.

At another point in the interview, Moore appeared to defend pursuing "young ladies" as long as their parents approved. "I don't remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother. And [one woman] said her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me," he said.