Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican running for a U.S. Senate seat that once belonged to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and his campaign chairman lashed out Thursday at the Washington Post.
The newspaper, which Moore campaign chairman Bill Armistead called “one of the most liberal in the country,” reported Thursday that the candidate stood to gain more than $540,000 from the sale of the headquarters building of a charity that Moore once led.
Moore told the Associated Press that he never received the money.
"In the past week, two reporters for the Washington Post have engaged in writing a so-called 'investigative' report on Judge Roy Moore," Armistead said in a statement. "They have harassed family, friends and neighbors and have also attempted to gain access to the Foundation of Moral Law building under false pretensions.
He continued: "The story was full of all of the same distortions and innuendos that characterized past political attacks on Judge Moore. Judge Moore is man of impeccable character who served our country during a time of war in Vietnam and is a true patriot who does not back down from those who violate our Constitution. He has always served with integrity and according to the highest ethical standards."
The Post previously reported that Moore stood to gain $180,000 annually for part-time work for the charity, the Foundation for Moral Law, and had received more than $1 million in compensation over nine years. It also reported that the charity had failed to fully disclose Moore’s compensation to the IRS, placing the charity’s tax-exempt status in jeopardy.
But John Bentley, who served as chairman of the foundation, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Moore was never paid the salary.
"We didn't have the money," Bentley said.
Later Thursday, during a speech in Huntsville, Ala., the candidate himself referred to the Post reporting as “untrue,” and said the stories had been put together through use of “sleazy tactics,” AL.com reported.
“It’s been a very rough campaign,” Moore said during his speech. “There have been so many things said against us, about us, that are untrue. And you want to respond but in politics you can’t. You can't get out and jump into this because it's a no-win situation. Because they will keep it up."
Moore will face off against Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 election. To win the Republican nomination, Moore defeated incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who had been appointed to fill Sessions’ seat after Sessions resigned from the Senate to become a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
The GOP primary drew national attention because Strange drew an endorsement from Trump, while Moore was backed by Steve Bannon, who until Aug. 18 served as Trump’s chief political strategist.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.