The New York Times falsely claimed that the Alabama governor has the authority to “block” Republican senate candidate Roy Moore’s election in a Monday report that was eventually edited to remove the assertion.
The report alleged White House officials have discussed the possibility that the Alabama governor could prevent Moore from taking office by blocking his election and immediately appointing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reclaim his former seat. Moments after publishing the story, the relevant section was corrected to reflect the fact that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey could appoint Sessions only if the seat was left vacant because the Senate refused to seat Moore.
The original report read (emphasis added):
One idea now being discussed under this scenario, brought up by two different White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, would be for Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama to block Mr. Moore if he wins, and then immediately appoint Attorney General Jeff Sessions to what had been his seat when it becomes vacant again.
The updated version reads:
But if Mr. Moore stays in and goes on to win, it could leave Senate Republicans with the difficult question of whether to stop him from being seated or seating him and immediately moving to expel him from the chamber.
One idea now being discussed under this scenario, brought up by two different White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, would be for Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama to immediately appoint Attorney General Jeff Sessions to what had been his seat when it becomes vacant again.
Republican officials reportedly spent the weekend discussing various strategies to address the possibility that Moore, who has been accused of undressing and groping a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, might win the Alabama senate seat formerly occupied by Sessions.
In addition to the groping allegations, three other women accused Moore of pursuing romantic relationships with them when he was in his thirties and they were teens, in a bombshell Washington Post report published Thursday.
A fifth accuser stepped forward Monday afternoon, recounting an incident that occurred when she was 16 and Moore was in his thirties. Beverly Young-Nelson said Moore kissed and groped her and eventually tried to force her head down to his crotch after offering her a ride home from work.
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