Collins: Moore’s denials aren’t convincing

WASHINGTON — Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said on Sunday that she does not believe Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s denials of the sexual allegations against him and hopes the state’s voters do not send him to Washington.

“I did not find his denials to be convincing at all,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The Washington Post published a report earlier this month based on interviews with more than 30 people that said Moore pursued relationships with teenagers while he was in his 30s. One woman alleged she was 14 years old when Moore initiated sexual contact with her. Alabama’s legal age of consent, then and now, is 16.

Since the Post’s report, another woman has come forward and accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.

Moore has continued to deny the allegations and he says he will not drop out of the race.

Collins noted she was against Moore before the “terrible allegations” came out against him, citing his conduct as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, as well as his anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments. But she declined to say whether the Senate should move to expel Moore if he wins the December 12 election.

“These allegations are extremely disturbing, but under the Constitution, the test on whether or not you seat someone is whether they satisfy the age and residency requirement,” Collins said. “We would have to seat him, but I hope we don’t get there. … I hope that the voters of Alabama choose not to elect him.”