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Roy Moore's attorney tries to discredit accuser

An attorney for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is trying to discredit molestation allegations by a woman who says the Republican assaulted her when she was 16.

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Attorney Phillip L. Jauregui said during a news conference Wednesday that they had hired a handwriting analyst to look into whether the signature in Beverly Young Nelson's yearbook is authentic.

The attorney also tried to poke other holes in her story.

Jauregui represented Moore in cases involving the Ten Commandments monument and same-sex marriage.

Moore is trailing his Democratic opponent in polling conducted by the Senate GOP's campaign arm, even though Alabama hasn't elected a Democratic senator in a quarter-century.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee found that Democrat Doug Jones led Moore by 12 points -- 51 percent to 39 percent -- in a survey of 500 Alabama voters conducted Sunday and Monday. The Associated Press has reviewed the committee's internal numbers.

That's a dramatic downward shift for Moore, who led by 9 points based on the organization's internal polling in the days immediately before the first allegations of sexual misconduct were revealed.

The Senate committee, like virtually the entire national GOP, has called for Moore to quit the race. Top Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, have said publicly that Moore should leave the race. Moore says he does not intend to step aside.

President Donald Trump isn't saying whether Republican Roy Moore should drop out of the Alabama Senate race following accusations of sexual misconduct.

Reporters at the White House asked Trump Wednesday whether Moore should step aside or whether he believed Moore's accusers after Trump delivered a lengthy recap of his foreign travels this year.

Trump walked off without answering any questions.

The election is Dec. 12.