White House officials have reportedly floated a scenario in which Alabama Senate Republican nominee Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct last week, could be replaced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Two White House officials mentioned the idea to the New York Times on Monday, claiming that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey could appoint Sessions to his old seat if Moore is blocked from occupying it by Senate officials if he wins the election.
However, Sessions' camp seemed to immediately shoot down the idea. A reporter for ABC said a source close to Sessions called this idea "wishful thinking."
Source close to Sessions added: “this is wishful thinking by people who probably don’t even know Jeff Sessions, and certainly haven’t spoken to him.” https://t.co/2SGjk8DUF6— Tara Palmeri (@tarapalmeri) November 13, 2017
The idea was talked about days after four women came forward to claim that Moore pursued them romantically when he was in his 30s and they were between the ages of 16 to 18. One of the women alleged that he initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14 years old.
A fifth woman came forward on Monday, claiming that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and 16 years old. The woman said Moore urged her not to tell anyone after the alleged incident occurred.
Raj Shah, a spokesperson for President Trump, told the Washington Examiner after the fifth woman came forward the White House had "nothing to add" to its previous statement about Moore.
"As the president said, he'll be looking at this once he returns from Asia," Shah said.
A handful of Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., demanded that Moore step aside on Monday in the wake of the mounting allegations.
The former state supreme court justice has repeatedly denied the accusations and told supporters at a private event over the weekend he plans to sue the Washington Post for defamation.
Trump is set to return from his 12-day swing through Asia on Tuesday. The Alabama special election will be held Dec. 12.