The communications director for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has resigned, Moore's campaign said Wednesday, as the Alabama Republican combats allegations that he harassed and sexually assaulted girls as young as 14.
The Washingtonian first reported Wednesday that John Rogers, Moore’s spokesman, had left the campaign. The Reuters news agency reported Wednesday that Rogers decided to leave the campaign on Nov. 17, according to a campaign statement.
“As we all know, campaigns make changes throughout the duration of the campaign,” campaign Chairman Bill Armistead said in the statement. “John made the decision to leave the campaign last Friday — any representations to the contrary are false — and we wish him well.”
Reached by phone on Wednesday by The Washingtonian, Rogers confirmed his resignation but declined to comment further.
Moore, 70, a former Alabama Supreme Court judge who was twice removed from the bench, has denied any wrongdoing. He has accused the women of conspiring with Democrats, establishment Republicans and the media to derail his campaign.
News of Rogers’ departure came one day after President Trump all but endorsed Moore and defended him against any charges of inappropriate behavior, telling reporters at the White House, "Roy Moore denies it; that's all I can say."
Trump added, “I can tell you one thing for sure: We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat."
Moore faces a tight race against Democrat Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor, in a Dec. 12 special election to fill the Senate vacancy left by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Trump on Tuesday ignored questions about whether he believes Moore's denials, but said he will announce next week whether he intends to go to Alabama to campaign personally for the Republican.
After the sexual harassment charges against Moore arose earlier this month, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement saying Trump expected that, if the allegations are true, "Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside."
As recently as last week, even as many Republican congressional leaders have called for Moore to quit the race, Sanders said Trump believed that the people of Alabama should decide whether to elect him.