Two Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana, are pulling their endorsement of Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore amid a sexual misconduct controversy allegedly involving 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 said in a tweet Friday evening.
Moments later Daines tweeted out his own brief message: "I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate."
The retractions come hours after Moore pushed back on a bombshell Washington Post report Thursday containing accounts from four women alleging Moore sought sexual relations with them when they were teenagers.
"These are allegations are completely false and misleading," Moore told Sean Hannity on his radio show about the allegations that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl more than 30 years ago. His response to the allegations from the other three girls were less clear.
In a statement on the Post report Thursday, Moore spoke about potential political motivations in the report.
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the national Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore said.
Earlier in the day Friday it was reported Lee asked Moore's campaign to remove his picture from a fundraising ad.
Other Republican lawmakers who have endorsed, but not yet withdrawn their support of Moore, include Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that if the allegations are proven true, Moore "must step aside."
Moore is not without defenders. Notably, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who endorsed Moore, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the Post report goes "deeper than politics — it’s about trying to destroy a man’s life."
Moore, a longtime Alabama state judge, defeated Sen. Luther Strange in the GOP primary in September. Strange had been the preferred candidate of Bannon and President Trump. The general election contest, which aims to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was picked to be Trump's attorney general, is scheduled for Dec. 12. The Democrat in the race is Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney.