President Donald Trump refrains from joining fellow Republicans who call for the Senate candidate to abandon the race as another potential victim comes forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and US Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a revival, November 14, 2017, in Jackson, Alabama, US.
Former Alabama Chief Justice and US Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a revival, November 14, 2017, in Jackson, Alabama, US. (AP)

A sixth woman came forward on Wednesday to accuse Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. 

She said Moore groped her while she was in his law office in 1991. Moore, a Republican, was married at the time.

The latest accusation came just hours after a lawyer for Moore held a press conference to dispute a separate allegation of unwanted sexual contact. 

Beverly Young Nelson accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 and he was in his 30s.

Moore's lawyer cast doubt on the authenticity of a flirtatious high school yearbook entry that Nelson says Moore wrote.

Unlike the earlier allegations that involved teenagers, the latest accuser – Tina Johnson – was 28 when she visited Moore's office, where she says he grabbed her buttocks as she left.

Moore has denied allegations that were first raised in a Washington Post story about his relationships with four women when they were teenagers. He is also accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) holds up pictures of women who've accused US Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, while questioning US Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, November 14, 2017.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) holds up pictures of women who've accused US Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, while questioning US Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, November 14, 2017. (Reuters)

Turmoil in Alabama Senate

President Donald Trump dodged questions about the turmoil in the Alabama Senate race on Wednesday, declining to join national Republicans who've called for Moore to abandon the race amid allegations of sexual impropriety with teenage girls. 

Far from surrendering, Moore's camp challenged the credibility of one of the accusers. 

Trump, who withstood allegations of sexual assault weeks before his own election, was uncharacteristically silent when faced with questions about the scandal.

The allegations rattled the party and left Moore's would-be colleagues threatening to expel him should he win. 

Republicans had looked to Trump with hopes that he would push out a fellow political rebel from the race.

Moore, meanwhile, offered fighting words in a tweet addressed to the top Senate Republican.

Chris Hansen, executive director of the national GOP's Senate campaign committee, fired back, "Bring It On is a movie about cheerleaders."

The yearbook in question

In Alabama, Moore's campaign chairman and personal attorney did address reporters, trying to undercut the story of Nelson.

Nelson claimed Moore wrote an inscription in her yearbook, "To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say, 'Merry Christmas.'" and signed it "Love, Roy Moore, DA", according to a copy of the yearbook page provided to reporters by her attorney, Gloria Allred.

But Moore's attorney Phillip Jauregui demanded that Nelson "release the yearbook" she contends Moore signed. 

The lawyer questioned whether the signature was Moore's and said it should be submitted for handwriting analysis. 

Neither the attorney nor the campaign manager addressed the original allegations from Leigh Corfman who says that Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14. 

They did not take questions.

Allred later said her client would allow the yearbook to be examined only if Moore is questioned under oath by a Senate committee.

Damage on potential election outcome

The unusual news conference suggested Moore, a judge twice removed from his post as state Supreme Court chief justice, was digging in, leaving his party with two damaging potential election outcomes. 

His victory would saddle GOP senators with a colleague accused of abusing and harassing teenagers, a troubling liability heading into next year's congressional elections. A loss to Democrat Doug Jones would slice the already narrow GOP Senate majority to an unwieldy 51-49.

It's too late to remove Moore's name from the ballot, so fielding a Republican write-in at this point would almost certainly hand the election to the Democrats unless he should withdraw and persuade his supporters to vote for that substitute.

According to internal polling conducted by the Senate GOP campaign arm and reviewed by the Associated Press, Moore trails Democrat Jones by 12 points – 39 percent to 51 percent – in the survey conducted on Sunday and Monday. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has encouraged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step up. But Sessions, whose former Senate seat is at stake, has indicated he has no interest in that.

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby said on Wednesday that he'll write in another name on Election Day and Sessions would be an "ideal candidate." 

But he also said "I don't see any movement" toward an effective effort with the election less than a month away.

Source: AP