White House officials float Sessions as potential fix to Moore problem

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WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, said Monday that Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, “should step aside” and that he believes the women who have accused Mr. Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers.

“I believe the women, yes,” Mr. McConnell said at a news conference in Louisville.

Mr. McConnell also said that encouraging a write-in candidate to run in the Dec. 12 special election is “an option we’re looking at.”

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. Mr. Sessions remains highly popular among Alabama Republicans, but his relationship with President Trump has waned since he recused himself from the investigation of the role that Russia played in last year’s campaign.

Republicans in Washington, though, have not ruled out fielding a write-in candidate and some of the party’s outside groups were expected to conduct surveys this week of who would be most formidable prospect, according to officials familiar with the plans.

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