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Roy Moore refuses to take questions about allegations, calls claims 'scurrilous'

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is calling accusations of sexual misconduct against him "scurrilous and false," but he declined to take questions from reporters about them.

White House says voters in Alabama should decide Senate hopeful's fate

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a news conference in Birmingham, Ala. Supporters rallied around him today and tried to cast doubt on his alleged sexual misconduct. (Brynn Anderson/Associated Press)

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is calling accusations of sexual misconduct against him "scurrilous and false," but he declined to take questions from reporters about them on Thursday.

Moore said the accusations are "not only untrue but they have no evidence." He says he will be staying in the race for the U.S. Senate despite calls from fellow Republicans to step down.

Two women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were 14 and 16 and he was in his 30s. Others say Moore attempted to start romantic relationships with them when he was in his 30s and they were teens.

Religious and conservative allies of Moore held a Thursday news conference to show support. Conservative commentator Alan Keyes, abortion-rights opponents and others spoke.

One of Moore's lawyers tried to cast doubt around the claims made by one of the complainants, Beverly Nelson. Nelson accused Moore of assaulting her when she was a teenager and he was in his 30s.

At a news conference outlining her allegations, Nelson showed a yearbook with an inscription she said Moore wrote for her. The senate hopeful's lawyer on Wednesday demanded that Nelson's lawyer, Gloria Allred, release the yearbook to a neutral party so a handwriting expert can review the entry.

Moore is pushing forward with his campaign but has faced increased opposition from within his own party.

Several high-profile Republicans, including Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House Leader Paul Ryan, have called on him to step aside.

Meanwhile, the White House says U.S. President Donald Trump believes the voters of Alabama should decide Moore's fate, and that the allegations against him are "very troubling."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that Trump isn't calling on Moore to exit the race, but supported the Republican National Committee's decision to withdraw its resources from the race.

The Alabama Republican Party said on Thursday it supported Moore, who previously served as chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court. 

"Judge Moore has vehemently denied the allegations made against him. He deserves to be presumed innocent of the accusations unless proven otherwise," it said in a statement. "He will continue to take his case straight to the people of Alabama."

With files from CBC News and Reuters

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