The Republican Party’s Senate campaign wing on Friday severed its fundraising agreement with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
Federal Election Commission paperwork filed on Friday showed that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is no longer listed as part of a joint fundraising committee with Moore’s campaign.
It’s the most concrete step Senate Republicans have taken to separate themselves from Moore.
The move by the NRSC came a day after the Washington Post reported the accounts of four women who alleged that Moore, as a man in his 30s, had pursued them as teenagers. One of the woman said he initiated sexual contact with her as a 14-year-old, though they did not have intercourse.
Moore has adamantly denied the allegations and insisted he will remain in the race.
A slew of national Republicans have called on Moore to drop out of the race if the allegations are true. The party’s 2008 and 2012 presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, have said the story itself is cause enough for Moore to step aside.
Throughout his Alabama Senate primary against Sen. Luther Strange, Moore pummeled the Republican establishment practically on a daily basis: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and strategist Karl Rove were his favorite punching bags.
But there was no love lost in either direction. A McConnell-backed super PAC dropped millions propping up Strange and casting Moore, who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal orders, as unfit for the Senate.
Nonetheless, the two sides made up, at least formally, after the election.
In late October, Moore’s campaign entered into a fundraising pact with the Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Alabama Republican Party. Barely two weeks later, the NRSC dropped out.
“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling. If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election,” NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said in a statement Thursday.
The joint fund, dubbed Alabama 2017 Senate Victory Committee, allowed Moore to raise $80,500 at a time from individual contributors.
Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney, to fill the seat of now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the staunchly conservative state. The election is on Dec. 12.
Moore and his supporters, including Breitbart chief Steve Bannon, have tried to turn the story alleging that Moore pursued teenagers into a rallying cry for his supporters.
“Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena,” his campaign chairman Bill Armistead said in a statement Thursday, but the story alleging sexual impropriety “takes the cake.”