Washington, Nov 27: President Donald Trump redoubled his support for embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore, ignoring the sexual harassment allegations plaguing the ex-Alabama judge's campaign, even as Democrats moved to address harassment concerns afflicting their own party.
In an early-morning tweet, Trump said that Moore's rival in the Alabama race for a Senate seat, Democrat Doug Jones, was weak on crime, the military and immigration. For Alabamians to support him in next month's special election, the president said, "would be a disaster!" Many members of Trump's Republican Party have withdrawn support for Moore, who is now 70, following multiple allegations that while in his 30s he molested or harassed teenage girls as young as 14. But allegations of sexual harassment have plagued both of America's main political parties in recent weeks.
Democrat John Conyers, a celebrated civil rights leader who is the longest-serving member of Congress, announced he was stepping down from a leadership position as he battles similar claims. Even while denying the allegations, Conyers, the 88- year-old said he was leaving his post as ranking member of the powerful House Judiciary Committee -- but remaining in Congress -- while he seeks vindication before the House Ethics Committee.
Ethics Committee leaders said Tuesday they planned to investigate allegations that Conyers, a 27-term legislator who co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus, had sexually harassed staff members and used official resources "for impermissible personal purposes."
Swirling allegations of sexual misconduct have derailed high-profile careers in the entertainment and media industries and are now jolting the political world after a deluge of claims against one-time Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. They have sparked angry demands from both political friend and foe that the alleged perpetrators step aside.
Some leading Republicans have suggested that Moore, if elected, should not be allowed to take his Senate seat. Most prominently, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has called for Moore to drop out of the race altogether, saying, "I believe the women."